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Former Istrouma High coach accused of having sex with student changes plea to guilty, charges reduced

1 week 2 days 17 hours ago Wednesday, July 03 2024 Jul 3, 2024 July 03, 2024 2:15 PM July 03, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — A former high school coach in Baton Rouge who was accused of luring a student into a closet for sex in 2023 pleaded guilty to several charges after previously pleading not guilty in January, court records show.

Johnnie Butler's sexual battery charge was dismissed Monday by the 19th Judicial District Attorney, and a third-degree rape charge was reduced to an obscenity charge, records show. Butler, who was fired from Istrouma High School, pleaded guilty to the obscenity charge.

Butler also pleaded guilty to two counts of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and student, court records show. If he is sentenced to anything other than probation, he would have the right to withdraw his plea, the court records said.

Butler, a health teacher and coach, was placed on leave shortly after he was accused of raping the student in May 2023. 

"He pushed her in a closet in the gym... in the weight room," the student's father told WBRZ. "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. A warrant was put out for Butler's arrest, and he was booked on May 11, 2023, after East Baton Rouge deputies found sexually explicit text messages between Butler and the victim.

Butler's sentencing was set for Aug. 29.

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