Port Angeles man sentenced for sexual assault of minor

PORT ANGELES — Charles Jason Butcher of Port Angeles has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for aggravated sexual assault of a minor, U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes announced.

Butcher, 46, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to eight years, one month followed by 10 years of supervised release for sexually assaulting a child in Olympic National Park in 2001.

Butcher admitted the assault in a recorded phone call with the victim in 2016, the U.S. attorney said in a news release.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in May, denying that he sexually assaulted a second minor in 2001.

“For 15 years the defendant denied sexually abusing the two young victims in this case, compounding a horrific betrayal,” Hayes said in the release.

“I commend the courage of the victims and the commitment of the [National] Park Service investigator who took what was considered a ‘cold case’ and developed the evidence necessary to convict.”

According to Hayes’ office, two young children, ages 7 and 4, were visiting a resort that Butcher operated near Lake Crescent in 2001.

After the visit, the children’s mother suspected sexually abusive contact. Medical exams showed signs of sexual molestation, according to the release.

Butcher maintained that he did not assault the second child, according to the May 12 plea agreement.

In late 2015, one of the children and her mother contacted law enforcement. A National Park Service special agent was assigned as part of a cold case review. The child agreed to additional forensic interviews.

One of the children agreed to place a recorded phone call to Butcher in which he admitted the abuse. Butcher later admitted the molestation of one of the children to law enforcement, according to Hayes’ office.

The case was investigated by the Park Service and the FBI. It was prosecuted federally because the assault occurred on federal land.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Grady Leupold prosecuted the case.

At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the nature of the offense was “extremely odious,” according to a news release.

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