Salem Officer Charged With Rape Says Sex Was Consensual

SALEM (WBZ-AM) -- Opening statements were scheduled for Wednesday in the case of a Salem Police officer accused of raping a 28-year-old man who was in police custody--but a juror's outburst held things up.

Salem Superior Court Judge Hélène Kazanjian had to re-interview jurors who were already selected in the rape trial of Brian Butler. None of those interviewed said they heard the outburst. The jury was completely seated, and opening statements were set for Thursday morning.

Butler's accused of molesting the man, who was brought to the police station on Halloween night in 2016. Soaking wet, the man exchanged his clothes for a blanket. It was as he was naked that he was allegedly molested by the former officer, who has since resigned from the force.

Prosecutors allege Butler coerced the man into performing sex acts in a closet--but Butler's defense attorney maintains that the sex was consensual. Butler, then with the force for 24 years, was married to Salem Police Chief Mary Butler at the time.

The trial is expected to take five days. If convicted, Butler could face up to 20 years for rape and 10 for charges of battery.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bill Marcus reports

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