Man pleads not guilty to rape during court hearingPublished at | Updated at
IDAHO FALLS — A local man has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in January.
Erik Butts, 38, appeared in court Tuesday, alongside his public defender to enter the plea for the charge of felony rape. A jury trial has now been set for Aug. 15.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred on Jan. 29 at a home in Bonneville County.
A woman claims Butts sexually assaulted her. Court documents show during the alleged rape the victim asked Butts to stop multiple times, but he did not and allegedly overpowered her.
Butts was interviewed by Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office detectives about the incident. He said he remembers the night, but that “it was all a blur.”
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“I was drinking and that exacerbates things and I lost it,” Butts told detectives. “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 told investigators that Butts told her he “strong-armed” the victim into having sex with him. He also reportedly told the co-worker 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 not arrested but instead was issued a summons to appear in court.
If convicted, Butts could serve a lifetime sentence, along with a $50,000 fine and restitution.