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Local man reportedly admits to rape before court appearance


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IDAHO FALLS — A local man who was charged with rape in January has been scheduled for a preliminary hearing next month.

Erik Butts, 38, was charged with felony rape after a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her on Jan. 29 at a home in Bonneville County.

According to court documents, the victim asked Butts to stop multiple times, to which he allegedly did not and overpowered her.

A sexual assault nurse examiner met with the victim, and DNA results are pending.

According to Butts’ statement, he was aware of the rape allegations and remembers the night in question.

Statements made by Butts to Bonneville County Sheriff’s detectives included, “It was all a blur,” “I was drinking and that exacerbates things” and “I lost it. I think a lot of emotions came out that night, and that is why I cannot remember a lot of it.”

A co-worker of Butts said Butts told her that he “strong-armed” the victim into having sex with him. He also reportedly told the witness that it was an “act that could send him to prison”.

Butts told investigators that he has been “researching sentencings, lawyers and definitions – just in case,” according to court documents. After being asked what category Butts thought this situation would fall into, he responded “Probably rape. … Anytime you forcibly penetrate a woman, it’s rape.”

Butts was summoned to appear in court in front of Judge Wiley R. Dennert on May 16 and a preliminary hearing was set for June 7. If convicted, Butts could serve a lifetime sentence, along with a $50,000 fine and restitution.