On January 20, 2016, an Illinois nursing home employee pleaded not guilty to six counts of soliciting to commit sexual assault.
Investigators say Channing Butler tried to pay other men to have sex with patients in a memory care facility and videotape it, IllinoisHomepage reports. According to the charges read in court, Butler’s potential victims had “profound” memory problems. It was also revealed Butler knew and worked with people from several senior care facilities in the area.
Police say Butler, 26, was letting people into the Bickford Senior Living Center in Champaign last summer, and was allegedly trying to get them to have sex with memory care patients and return with taped evidence. According to police, no sexual assaults actually took place. The victims, all over 60, were able to defend themselves, IllinoisHomepage reports. Prosecutors say one of the men Butler tried to hire came forward and then an investigation into Butler’s email accounts revealed the plot.
Investigators say it will be difficult to prepare a strong case against Butler because some of the intended victims have serious memory issues.
The sheriff’s office says Butler has worked at other facilities, including the Champaign County Nursing Home, Helia Healthcare, C-U Nursing and Rehab, and Autumn Fields Assisted Living Community. The sheriff’s office says no assaults occurred at the county nursing home but there is no word about whether any assaults happened at the other places Butler worked, according to IllinoisHomepage. Butler has no previous criminal history.
Several of Butler’s coworkers say they’re shocked and wouldn’t have imagined Butler could do anything like this.
Bickford’s management says they cooperated with investigators from the start. They say they “took appropriate measures” as far as reviewing their policies and procedures, but would not be specific about whether any changes were made.
Butler is due back in court in March. Prosecutors have not said whether anyone else will be charged.