Sexual assault claimed at nursing home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Larry Eugene Butler is escorted from Municipal Court by Vicksburg Police Officer Brenda Brown. (The Vicksburg Post/CHAD APPLEBAUM)

[07/24/01] A Vicksburg man was arraigned Monday and formally accused of sexual battery of a 96-year-old resident of the nursing home where he was employed.

Police allege Larry Eugene Butler, 29, 2430 Pearl St., assaulted the woman Wednesday at Trace Haven, 2850 Porters Chapel Road, where he had worked for about five years as a custodian.

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In Municipal Court with his attorney, Louis Field, Butler waived a preliminary reading of his rights before Judge Allen Derivaux. His case was passed to the next term of the Warren County grand jury, which convenes in October, and Butler, who bobbed his head throughout his brief appearance, was ordered held until a $10,000 bond was posted.

He remained in Warren County Jail late Monday.

Butler was reported to police by another nursing home employee late last week and immediately fired, Trace Haven administrator Eva Williams said.

Under instruction by the nursing home’s Jackson management company, Williams would not comment further.

“The statute governing sexual battery is written pretty broadly to cover all sorts of cases,” said police Investigator Sandra Johnson. “So whether or not there was (penetration), we are charging him with sexual battery.”

Butler’s mother said she doesn’t believe the allegations.

“He’s not the type of person to do something like that,” she said, adding that she had not heard a full description of the charges against her son. “I’m not saying that just because I’m his mother, either. He’s just not that kind of person.”

Trace Haven had held a staff meeting on sexual assault days before her son’s arrest, the mother said. Williams said no such meeting was conducted.

“That’s hearsay,” she said.

The sexual assault report is the first ever at Trace Haven, Williams said. The home has about 120 residents.