Bible-quoting child sex abuse defendant faces new charges

Wednesday , September 02, 2015 - 9:09 AM4 comments

Standard-Examiner staff

FARMINGTON — A man who told police there is no biblical age restriction set between sex partners has been found mentally competent to stand trial and now faces additional charges.

Timothy Morgan Butler, 55, of Layton, appeared before Judge Glen Dawson on Tuesday, Sept. 1. He was originally charged with six felonies, and prosecutors now say another young girl has accused Butler of sexually abusing her.

• RELATED:  Man who quoted Bible is No. 25 on waiting list for the state hospital

With the new allegation, Butler is charged with two counts of sodomy upon a child, three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, two counts of dealing in material harmful to a minor, and one count of possession of marijuana.

Butler has been at the Utah State Hospital undergoing mental evaluations to determine if he is competent for trial. Defense attorney Julie George said Tuesday the doctors found Butler mentally competent.  

Dawson scheduled Sept. 8 for a bail hearing for Butler and a jury trial for Oct. 19-Oct. 23.

Butler asked during Tuesday’s hearing if Dawson would reduce his bail so he could visit his dying mother.

“I would like to be able to give her at least a hug or something before she passes away,” Butler said.

Layton police arrested Butler in March 2014 and he has been held since in lieu of $100,000 bail.

According to charging documents after his arrest, Butler admitted to watching pornography with a 5- or 6-year-old girl in the room and also admitted to inappropriately touching the girl, but it was to “show her love.”

He also told the police officer, “the Bible did not set limits on the age between two partners,” documents said.

Butler provided police with a written statement that said the girl was not “getting love at home, so he gave it to her,” according to the document. Butler also wrote he was not receiving any “love from my wife, so I decided to get love and share love” with the child.

Butler again Tuesday asked Dawson to allow him to represent himself at trial. Dawson appointed George and Mark Arrington as Butler’s public defenders. 

Butler said he wants to represent himself so he can have access to the jail’s law library. “If I’m not representing myself I can’t go to the jail law library,” Butler said.

“The fact you’re not representing yourself should not prevent you from going to the jail’s law library,” Dawson said.

Butler said jail staff will not allow him access to the library. Dawson asked Butler’s attorneys to check with the jail staff about access to the jail library.

Dawson also quizzed Butler on several legal terms. 

Instead of giving definitions to the terms, Butler said, “I’m sure I’ll study. You can find anything on Google.” 

Dawson then told Butler it would be in his best interest if he had the two public defenders represent him at the trial. 

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE. Like her on Facebook at 

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