By Joe Bachman
A 27-year-old man charged with sexual assault was found not guilty on Wednesday after jurors gave their verdict after deliberating for nearly three hours.
John Butler III, of Wisconsin Rapids, stood in front of a jury on Mar. 16 after being charged with the repeated sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. Butler allegedly engaged in intercourse with her on three separate occasions; twice in Mar. of 2015, and once in Jun. of 2015.
The 13-year-old testified in court, and pointed out Butler as the defendant. Evidence brought forth by the prosecution showed screenshots from a cellular phone conversation to Butler regarding sexual activity, where a complainant told Butler to “go have sex with someone else”. She was also questioned by the defense on the specificity of dates of alleged sexual activity.
Butler made the decision to not testify before the court.
At 2:52 p.m., the jury left to deliberate. At 5:00 p.m. a note was sent to the judge stating that the jury could not come to a unanimous decision. After further deliberation a verdict was returned at 5:46 of not guilty.
The state did not oppose this decision.