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Police officer accused of sex with child held on $1 million bond

Officer's arrest is 2nd by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in 4 days

Ex-Officer Matthew Butler appears before a judge Wednesday on a charge of capital sexual battery.
Ex-Officer Matthew Butler appears before a judge Wednesday on a charge of capital sexual battery.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Veteran police Officer Matthew Butler wore a red jumpsuit Wednesday when he faced a judge for the first time on a charge of capital sexual battery on a child under 12. He was ordered held on $1 million bond pending an arraignment April 17.

The nine-year veteran officer was arrested Tuesday. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office began investigating the 39-year-old officer last Friday after getting a tip he was in possession of an inappropriate photo of a young girl on a digital device. 

Police haven't said Butler’s relationship to the victim and said they are checking all of Butler’s electronic devices to see if there could be any more victims.

News4Jax has requested the arrest warrant that should provide more details of the accusations.

He was booked into the Duval County jail just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. Jail inmates dressed in red are considered either high-profile prisoners, an escape risk or a suicide risk.

The person who answered the door at Butler's listed address Tuesday night did not wish to comment. A neighbor described his arrest as surreal.

"It's just the biggest shock to me of anything I’ve ever heard," neighbor Donald Johnson said.

Undersheriff Pat Ivey said the JSO was taking the unusual step of releasing an employee's booking photo due to the nature of the crime. Ivey said the officer resigned prior to his arrest.

Police said it believes the Florida Department of Children and Families is involved in the case. DCF has not returned a request for comment.

Butler's arrest comes four days after the arrest of a veteran police officer. Rodney Bryant, 32, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Bryant was arrested after an argument with his girlfriend and another woman that began at a Southside gentlemen's club. As they drove away, police said Bryant pulled over, retrieved a gun from the trunk of the car and pointed the firearm at the women.


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