Man must register as a sex offender |

Man must register as a sex offender

— A 41-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to four months in Routt County Jail. He must also register as a sex offender for at least 10 years and undergo treatment after committing a sex crime against a woman.

Chester Butts was arrested in November 2015 and charged with felony sex assault, felony menacing and third-degree assault. As part of a plea agreement, Butts pleaded guilty to the menacing charge and unlawful sexual contact.

In a letter read to Judge Shelley Hill during the hearing, the victim wrote that she agreed to the plea agreement because she believed people could change.

“Not at any point did I ever think I would be in this position, and a piece of me was lost,” the letter stated.

According to an arrest affidavit, the woman was at Butts’ house, and at Butts’ request, the woman entered his bedroom. A struggle then ensued, and the woman reported that Butts was very aggressive and grabbed her.

The woman then escaped to the bathroom, returned and attempted to “talk down” Butts.

Butts responded by forcing her onto the bed, placing his hand around her throat and sexually assaulting her, the affidavit states. She ultimately freed herself.

Four months in jail was the maximum amount of time Butts could be incarcerated, per the plea agreement. Hill could have sentenced him to less time.

Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen said it appeared Butts had taken no responsibility for what he had done.

“I would say that doesn’t bode well for him in terms of serving on probation,” Karzen said. “I would say every one of the 120 days in jail is appropriate.”

Butts apologized to the victim and her family.

“I do want to change and go through the treatment and everything like that,” Butts said.

Hill said she saw a lot of denial in Butts based on a pre-sentencing report from the probation department.

“What happened here should not have happened,” Hill said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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