UPDATED 2/6/2020 – On January 31, 2020, Butler was found not guilty by a jury on one count first-degree felony rape from the incident reported in April, 2017 in Washington County.
Madeline MacDonald hoped to never see 21 year-old Samuel Heber Butler’s face ever again. But as she scrolled through Facebook last week the image if his mug shot left a pit in her stomach.
Butler had been charged with raping a woman at Dixie State University. This charge came just two years after Madeline filed a complaint at Orem City Police department, claiming Butler sexually assaulted her as well.
“In our case the attorneys felt, even believing 100% what the victim was saying, that there wasn’t enough to move forward with charges,” Orem P.D. spokesman Lt. Craig Martinez said.
According to the probable cause statement filed by Dixie State University, Orem was not the only department to get a complaint about Butler. The statement says:
“This department has learned that the suspect has had similar events in other areas of Utah to include Logan City, Orem City and Utah County.”
It continues to say Butler was “Listed as a rape suspect in other cases where the suspect forces himself upon the victim.”
Chief Don Reid at the Dixie State University Police Department connected all the dots but He said his case was not very strong to begin with and his victim was timid.
“She told me that she met this individual on a dating site,” said Reid.
The woman told the chief she and Butler were supposed to get coffee, but instead, she says he took her to his home and sexually assaulted her.
Macdonald says Butler used the same tactics with her. “I know now that sort-of his M-O is to pick-up women and drive them somewhere else.”
Chief Reid was also suspicious of Butler’s constant moving, living near campuses in Utah County, Logan and St. George in a matter of 2 years.
“So you know, if you’re skeptical you wonder about those kinds of things, and that’s what first made me start to wonder,” Chief Reid explained.
He started making phone calls to these other universities and got a hit at Utah State.
“One of the officers, and said ‘you know that name sounds familiar, if I were you I’d check with Logan Police, said Reid. “Then we look at Logan Police, find out there’s an incident report, then we check with UVU, once we got two or three of them and I read the narrative, actually things that were said, behaviors, things that were done. And by that time, we were pretty sure we knew what we had.”
Not long after, Reid knew he had enough evidence to file a rape charge against Butler.
Madeline MacDonald still wishes something could have been done with her case before other women came into contact with Butler.
Macdonald has been talking with the prosecuting attorney in southern Utah about possibly testifying in the Dixie State case. She said she hopes she will finally be able to help prosecute Butler even if it’s for a different case.