Loading…
Monday, July 28, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsCourts
Published: Saturday, 6/8/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Bowling Green man gets 20 years for child porn

Children’s center worker coerced teens boys online

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The 20,000 images and 3,000 video files of child pornography were a staggering amount. But the fact a Bowling Green man contacted minor boys online and coerced them into masturbating in front of a Webcam made his crimes even more serious, a federal judge said Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary made the comments before sentencing 34-year-old Phillip S. Butler to 20 years in prison.

Butler, who had been employed at the Children’s Resource Center in Bowling Green, pleaded guilty Feb. 15 to three counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count each of distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child pornography for activity that occurred between May, 2009, and August, 2010.

Judge Zouhary said he was struck by the idea that Butler tried to help troubled teens at his job by day, then exploited them on his home computer by night.

“This is not simply a case of someone looking for and distributing already available child pornography,” Judge Zouhary said. “In this case, you knowingly pursued minor males and pressured some of them into making explicit videos that you shared with others. We know that for these minors, these experiences have long-lasting detrimental effects on them, some of them for the remainder of their lives.”

Butler, a Van Wert native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, fought back tears as he tried to explain his actions to the court. He said to him, his job was real, while what he did on his computer at home was fantasy.

“I took my job very seriously and acted in a professional manner at all times. I took a lot of pride in what I did,” Butler said, breaking down in tears. “How that interrelates with this behavior, these charges, I don’t know. I truly don’t know.”

While defense attorney Dave Klucas stressed that Butler had been cooperative with investigators and was remorseful for his crimes, assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan reminded the court that Butler worked with children, had a background in psychology, and knew how devastating it would be to a teenager to be forced to make a video of themselves in a sexually explicit position.

“That is despicable,” Mr. Sullivan said.

None of the victims that Butler met online while posing as a female was a local child, authorities said.

Mr. Sullivan said several of Butler’s victims had submitted impact statements that described exactly how they were victimized, and because the images are on the Internet, how they will continue to be victimized.

“It’s not only were they abused by someone close to them, but now that abuse was memorialized and is now traded around like baseball cards,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories