Updated with corrections: Dixie State student alleges rape, suspect arrested

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE (Updated April 28) —Dixie State University Security and Campus Police arrested a 21-year-old resident of off-campus student housing in St. George Wednesday on charges of first-degree felony rape of a woman who is a Dixie State student.


Ed. note April 28: This report updates and CORRECTS an earlier report. In the report first published April 27, the person arrested was mischaracterized as a student of Dixie State University; while he is a resident of off-campus student housing, the school has confirmed he has applied but never enrolled. The arresting agency was first identified as Dixie State College Campus Police as it was written and designated in the arresting officer’s statement; the school confirms the police agency’s current name reflects its university status.


Samuel Heber Butler, 21, was arrested by campus police for the alleged rape of a female student, who reported to campus police in January that she was raped by Butler on the night of Jan. 9, according to a probable cause statement sworn by campus police Officer Eldon Gibb on April 27 in support of the arrest.

Samuel Heber Butler, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted April 26, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Butler was living in Dixie State off-campus housing where the alleged assault occurred, Dr. Jordon Sharp, chief marketing and communication officer for the university, told St. George News Friday; however he is not a student of the university.

On-campus housing requires tenants be students, Sharp said, but could not speak to prerequisites off-campus housing facilities may impose.

“He has never been a student,” Sharp wrote in a subsequent email exchange with St. George News. “He applied at one point but never enrolled in classes.”

Campus police were notified of the alleged rape on Jan. 10, the day following the alleged incident, according to the arresting officer’s sworn statement. The student told campus police she had met Butler on an online dating app called Tinder and had agreed to go on a date with him.

“Prior to going out with the suspect, the (alleged) victim conversed online with the suspect where the suspect told the (alleged) victim he wanted to get laid,” the officer wrote in the statement. “The (alleged) victim told this department she made it clear that she did not want to have sex with the suspect but would go get coffee with the suspect.”

The woman told police that when Butler picked her up in the parking lot of her on-campus apartment, he took her to his Vintage at Canyonlands apartment down the street instead of going for coffee.

Once inside the apartment, the officer wrote in his statement, Butler forced himself upon the woman despite the woman repeatedly telling him “no” and trying to push Butler off. Butler allegedly proceeded to have sex with the woman and, when he was finished, put his arm and leg over her so she couldn’t get up.

When police interviewed him, Butler allegedly admitted to taking the woman to his apartment and having sex with her, according to the officer’s statement of probable cause.

“The suspect stated the (alleged) victim told him that she was really horny but that she couldn’t do this because she is not that type of person,” the officer wrote in his statement.

Upon further investigation, police learned of various other similar allegations made against Butler.

“Since the interview, this department has learned that the suspect has had similar events in other areas of Utah to include Logan City, Orem City and Utah County,” Gibb wrote. “This department learned that the suspect has been listed as a rape suspect in other cases where the suspect forces himself upon the victim.”

Dixie State confirmed the investigation in an emailed statement: “Throughout the investigation, campus police worked with the county attorney’s office, who deemed there to be enough information to charge the suspect.”

Butler was arrested Wednesday and booked into Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Butler of first-degree felony rape. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in 5th District Court Thursday afternoon before Judge Jeffrey Wilcox.

Dixie State University closed its prepared statement on the matter as follows:

DSU is a dedicated advocate for its students and their safety and works hard to ensure that all students feel safe on campus. Dixie State adheres to University Policy 154, which was written to comply with the Office of Civil Rights under the Department of Education and to keep students safe from harassment and discrimination

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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22 Comments

  • Lastdays April 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    So the crime was committed Jan. 9th and he was arrested Apr. 26th.
    What took so long ?

    • 42214 April 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      You mean the (alleged) crime.

    • comments April 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      My guess: he knows the right people. Possibly part of DSU athletics? That would probly do it.

      • comments April 27, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        And having a dsu student suspected of rape hurts their squeaking clean image they like to maintain, regardless of whether he’s in the school’s athletics. And given his apparent extensive history of such things it makes them look that much worse. I have an very low opinion of DSU’s leadership–they have about as much integrity as shady used car dealers

        • comments April 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

          I got carried away with some wild speculation here, but sounds like DSU went in to full on offensive damage control mode from just being lightly associated with a rape, so I was somewhat right.

  • 42214 April 27, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Let me get this straight. He tells her before even meeting that he wants to get laid. She says no but coffee sounds good. Then goes to his apartment instead of a public place for coffee. I believe no means no but what was she thinking? By the way, love all the (alleged) in the story.

    • comments April 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Young, lonely, probly didn’t know any better at the time.

  • Rob83 April 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    They had to build their case against him, finding out his prior assaults. Glad he got caught, what a jerk.

  • comments April 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    ““This department learned that the suspect has been listed as a rape suspect in other cases where the suspect forces himself upon the victim.””

    A rape suspect in other CASES, plural –meaning either 2 or maybe even 100. It’s time to lock him up then, idn’t it. Someone a day late and dollar short?

  • Travis April 27, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Ladies, ladies, ladies: don’t get in his car, meet him at the coffee shop. Don’t go in his car, don’t go into his apartment. Did your parents ever tell you not to trust strangers. Just because you talked online does not mean you know this person. You can say anything online.

    Ladies, ladies, laides: Think, think, think, think, etc.

    • Rainbow Dash April 27, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      I agree.

    • The Dude April 27, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Travis, Travis, Travis. Blaming the victim is wrong. Now you have justified the rapists actions. She is the victim of a crime.

      • ladybugavenger April 28, 2017 at 8:21 am

        Noooooo, Travis isn’t blaming the hes warning women. Do not put yourself in this position, always take your own vehicle!

        internet dating is not something I would ever recommend.

        Be paranoid (some might use the word cautious, but paranoia is safer) you never know who’s on the other end.

      • Jordan April 29, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        Recognizing the obvious is not “blaming the victim”. You do a huge disservice to everyone when you try to shame good (obviously good) advice.

  • Mean Momma April 27, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Seriously! If he says he “wants to get laid” before you meet him, and you don’t, why meet him at all? Obviously he only has one thing on his mind and it’s not coffee and conversation. Be smart ladies. He ugly anyway.
    Let’s hope this ends now. Hope he gets a long jail sentence and I really, really hope women smarten up!

    • comments April 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      this is victim blaming.

      • ladybugavenger April 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm

        Well, she put herself in a bad position and did something stupid-She’s to blame for that. He is to blame for rape.

      • Jordan April 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm

        NO it isn’t. You also do a huge disservice to everyone by attempting to shame good advice, because the advice makes you recognize a mistake. Your shaming might actually cost a life one day, stop it.

  • SteveSGU April 27, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    You might think that looking on an app for someone to have sex with is perfectly normal in this day and age, but you would be wrong to think like that. In this story, the rapist is to be condemned and locked up, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that young people (and some others) are forgetting just why sexual relations are for those people who are committed to each other in marriage. It’s not a game, and sexual promiscuity will mess up your life. If you want to be happy, prepare yourself to lead a family with a commendable example.

  • The Dude April 27, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Seems this guy has a problem understanding personal space. I say place him in general population at prison. Then he can see how it feels to have your personal space violated.

  • Have3bratz April 28, 2017 at 12:15 am

    He has Judge Wilcox!!! He’ll be out with a nice warning!!!

  • dkidder April 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Dear God. This alleged article is allegedly one of the worst written articles I have ever seen. In my 26 years an editor, I have fired reporters for allegedly misidentifying suspects and allegedly regurgitating police press releases. What is more alarming than this alleged article being written by a first year J school dropout is the pathetic quality of editing that didn’t squash this in the first place or the dismal publisher who hasn’t encouraged this alleged reporter to pursue a career in something she is more suited to, perhaps basket making, by showing her the door. The state of journalism in this country is truly disasterous, if this is what is passing as news gathering and dissemination these days.

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