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Ex-officer charged with sex abuse pleads not guilty, wants lower bond

Veteran Jacksonville police officer Matthew Butler held on $1.5M bond

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Jacksonville police officer accused of sexually abusing two children pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to three counts of sexual battery and one count of child porn possession.

Officer Matthew Butler, 39, resigned last month before he was arrested.

He is being held on $1.5 million bond, and his attorney said Tuesday he would be filing a motion to have that bond reduced.

Police said the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office began investigating Butler after a tip came in that he was in possession of an inappropriate photo of a young girl on a digital device. 

The nine-year veteran officer was initially charged with capital sexual battery on a child under 12.

Another child has since come forward with allegations of sexual abuse, according to court records. The girl told police Butler performed a sex act on her during a sleepover.

Butler is now also facing a charge of lewd & lascivious molestation related to the second accuser. His arraignment on that charge is set for May 8.

Police did not indicate Butler’s relationship to the first victim but said they were checking all of Butler’s electronic devices to see if there could be any more victims.

Undersheriff Pat Ivey said the Sheriff's Office was taking the unusual step of releasing an employee's booking photo due to the nature of the crime.