Ohio pastor accused of having sex with two minor girls, Monday pled guilty to sex trafficking involving minors
Kenneth Butler is one of three Toledo-area pastors accused of involvement in a child sex-trafficking scheme
Butler, 38, pled guilty to one count conspiracy to sex traffic children, two counts sex trafficking of children and one count obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation
Faces 17 1/2 years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for September
Two other pastors, Anthony Haynes and Cordell Jenkins, have been indicted for their roles in the sex trafficking conspiracy, await trial
A pastor in Toledo Ohio, accused of having sex with two minor girls has pleaded guilty to several charges, according to federal prosecutors.
Kenneth Butler, 38, is one of three Toledo-area pastors accused of involvement in a child sex-trafficking scheme.
Butler is expected to spend 17 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to sex traffic children, two counts of sex trafficking of children and one count of obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation, prosecutors say.
“This defendant has admitted to crimes that include preying on a foster child who was previously the victim of sexual abuse, and he committed these crimes in a house of worship,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman says in a news release. “Butler may hold himself out to the community as a pastor, but in the eyes of the law he is a criminal who pays money to sexually assault children.”
According to prosecutors, Butler had sex with two female minors between 2015 and March 2017. In late 2015, Butler and Haynes had sex with one of the females in Haynes’ office at the now-closed Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo, prosecutors say.
In 2016, Butler gave the same girl a ride to a job interview, then brought her back to University Bible Fellowship church, where Haynes and Butler again had sex with the girl.
Prosecutors list several other instances where Butler had sex with the underage girl, saying he once gave her $30 to have her hair done after having sex.
Butler had sex with a second juvenile girl in 2016 at the Greater Life Christian Center and on other occasions, and at least once gave her $20. He told both girls to lie to federal investigators about the encounters, prosecutors say.
Federal authorities say Butler was among three Toledo-area pastors who paid teen girls for sex over the past few years and shared photos and videos of the girls.
Butler is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Two other pastors, Anthony Haynes and Cordell Jenkins, have been indicted for their roles in the sex trafficking conspiracy, remain in jail awaiting trial. Neither man has entered a guilty plea.