Baton Rouge Teacher Accused of Raping Student Has Been Fired, Taken Into Custody
BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL News) - A teacher and coach at Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge has been fired and has been taken into custody.
Johnnie Butler, who taught health and coached multiple sports at the school, is facing charges of third-degree rape and prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student. He turned himself in at the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office on Thursday afternoon, the sheriff's office confirmed to media outlets.
More from The Advocate:
The arrest affidavit for Butler says that he texted the victim to meet him at a particular place on the high school campus during the week of May 1.
The victim told East Baton Rouge deputies that, when she arrived, Butler began to kiss her and pushed her into a closet, the affidavit says.
The victim told detectives she "froze and could not say anything because she was in a state of shock" during the rape, the document says.
Text messages between Butler and the victim, who allowed detectives to search her cellphone, showed that Butler had previously sent her suggestive messages, the affidavit says.
Butler had previously worked as a truancy officer for the school system from 2016 to 2020, at which point he went to work at the high school. According to a sheriff's office spokesperson, Butler also served as a reserve officer for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, but has since been fired.
A health teacher and track coach at Istouma High School in Baton Rouge has been placed on leave after being accused of raping a student in a closet at the school.
School and police officials are aware of the accusations and have confirmed that there is an investigation, according to media reports. An arrest warrant has been issued for Johnnie Butler, 41, who is facing two counts - one of third-degree rape and one of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student.
Via The Advocate:
An arrest warrant application for Johnnie Butler, a health teacher and track coach at Istrouma High School, says the victim told East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputies that Butler had texted her to meet him at a specific part of campus. Once she arrived, the victim said Butler began to kiss her and pushed her into a closet, the document says.
The victim said she "froze and could not say anything because she was in a state of shock," telling detectives that Butler pulled her pants down before raping her.
The document noted that a sexual assault kit was performed at a nearby hospital.
The circumstances surrounding the meeting have become clearer as the investigation has progressed, and Butler also admitted to police that he deleted messages between himself and the victim before being interviewed by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
The victim noted that she and Butler had been "communicating via phone for approximately two weeks," but that she had known him for over a year.
Security footage from the school obtained after the interview showed Butler inside the school's gym with the victim at the time text messages showed he had asked her to meet, the document says.
EBRSO spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks told The Advocate that detectives are communicating with Butler's attorney, and are trying to convince him to turn himself in. Hicks said Butler "served as a reserve officer for EBRSO from December 2021 until last week," The Advocate reported.
Butler has been placed on leave pending an investigation, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Schools spokesman Ben Lemoine.