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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Teacher, a former reserve deputy, accused of raping student at high school

1 year 1 month 1 week ago Monday, May 08 2023 May 8, 2023 May 08, 2023 11:00 PM May 08, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: An arrest warrant has been signed for Johnnie Butler on a charge of third-degree rape. The warrant was signed by a judge late Tuesday afternoon.

This is a breaking update. Read the original story below. 

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BATON ROUGE - A teacher has been placed on leave from his job at a local school and has lost his position as an East Baton Rouge Parish reserve deputy after being accused of raping a student in a closet at Istrouma High School last week.

Johnnie Butler is a health teacher and track coach.

"He pushed her in a closet in the gym... in the weight room," the student's father told WBRZ in an interview Tuesday. "He forced himself up on her. He's a big guy." 

As soon as that happened, the teen called a friend whose mother took her to a hospital.

"Baton Rouge General, had to do a rape kit," the father said. "They gave her medication."

And that's when the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office was contacted.

"My daughter's broken. She's up one minute and the other minute she breaks down." the father said in an visit to WBRZ's studios. He said he wanted to do an interview on camera so Butler could look him in the eye. 

Sources said the teenager initially did not want to press charges, but Louisiana Revised Statute 14:81.4 prohibits any sexual conduct between an educator and student.

The law says prohibited sexual conduct is committed when an educator has sexual intercourse with a person who is older than 17 and younger than 21, and where there is an age difference of greater than four years between them.

Those requirements were met in this case. But nearly a week after the incident was reported, Butler has not been charged.

"I understand the sheriff's got to do their job. But, I don't understand for the life of me, why do they have the evidence, even the school let him go? Why is he still roaming the street," the father asked.

That dad has this message for Butler.

"You need to take your lick and take your charge," he said. "You done wrong."

A spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said this investigation remains ongoing and active. EBRSO said Butler was fired as a reserve deputy the day it learned about the allegation.

Following the broadcast of this story an attorney representing Butler reached out with this statement: "It appears that this girl has not shown her father her text messages with Mr. Butler," attorney John McLindon said.

WBRZ asked McLindon if the text messages absolved Butler of any responsibility of the law cited above. He did not respond. 

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