Records: Woman punched in face in 2009 sex assault

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Court records are revealing what investigators say happened before an alleged sexual assault in a Western Michigan University dorm room more than a decade ago.

One of the three men facing charges is Karl Butler, a suspended Kent County juvenile probation officer.

Court documents say Karl Butler, Edgar Butler, and Clifford Mathis sexually assaulted a woman inside a French Hall dorm room in February 2009.

Kent County Court Administrator Andy Thalhammer wrote a statement to 24 Hour News 8. 

“The allegations against Mr. (Karl) Butler are troubling and we take them very seriously,” Thalhammer wrote. “The charges are for an incident that occurred before his employment with the Court and they did not come to light during his pre-employment criminal background check.”

At a probable cause hearing in June, investigators described the violence being alleged in the attack.

“During the sexual assault, she was punched in the face several times by one or all three parties,” the investigator said.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says a program to test previously unprocessed rape kits led to the arrests.

“Edgar Butler was being investigated as part of a sexual assault that’s alleged to have taken place in September of 2008,” Getting said. “That was one of our untested rape kits so in having that kit tested and then subsequently looking at that case it led us to the incident in February 2009.”

In a probable cause hearing for Edgar Butler, an investigator said both sexual assaults from 2008 and 2009 occurred on Western Michigan University’s campus and described what happened before the alleged 2009 assault.

“She was coming back from a party, was intoxicated, both Edgar and Karl lived in the same dorm she did. When she got to her room she was assaulted, pushed into the room and then the three of them sexually assaulted her,” the investigator said. 

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