Former Lakewood police officer charged with sexually assaulting stranded woman after offering help

Former Lakewood police officer charged with sexually assaulting stranded woman after offering help
Posted at 11:35 AM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 14:35:04-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A former Lakewood police officer has been arrested after he allegedly offered a stranded woman a ride and then sexually assaulted her. 

On Wednesday evening, the Denver Police Department arrested Randall Shaun Butler, a 37-year-old former Lakewood police officer who resigned on Nov. 26, on two counts of sexual assault.

In late November, Denver police reached out to the Lakewood Police Department to inform them of the investigation of Butler sexually assaulting an adult woman. 

When the Lakewood Police Department learned about the allegations, Butler was put on administrative leave. Shortly after that, on Nov. 26, he resigned from his position. He had been a member of the Lakewood Police Department since January 2013.

The charges allege that on Nov. 16 around 11 p.m., then-Lakewood Officer Butler offered to drive a woman who had become stranded near 10th Avenue and Sheridan to a more secure location near her home. Butler allegedly drove the woman to a vacant parking lot at 25th Avenue and Sheridan Avenue, where the alleged sexual assault occurred, according to the Denver DA's Office. Butler then left the victim and drove away in his patrol car.According to an affidavit, the woman said she had been involved in an argument with a friend at a bar near 7th Avenue and Sheridan Avenue. She went to a nearby business to use a phone to call for a ride, but it did not work. When her friend started yelling at the woman about his lost phone, a police officer — later identified as Butler — pulled up and asked if the woman was OK. She said she was and just needed a ride home. Butler said, "OK" and then drove away, according to the affidavit. 

The woman started to walk toward her home and was a few blocks away when Butler pulled up next to her. She continued walking but said she didn't want to get in trouble, so she walked to his car. When he asked if she needed a ride and that he could only go as far as 20th Avenue and Sheridan, the woman decided to take up the offer since it got her a little closer to home. The officer pulled into a dirt driveway, got out of the car and opened the back door for her to get inside, according to the affidavit. 

As they drove, the officer said he was going to drop her off closer to 25th Avenue instead of the 7-Eleven at 20th Avenue and Sheridan Avenue. When they arrived at the parking lot, he opened the back door for her and she thanked him for the ride. He asked for her number, which she gave to him.

"He then said, 'You look like you want to kiss me.' I did not want to," the affidavit reads. "That's when I knew I was in trouble. I knew that things were going to get worse and if I didn't do what I was told, he could hurt me."

The officer started to kiss the woman and touch her. He asked her if she had a condom. Then, he raped her over the back seat of the police car, according to the affidavit. Afterward, he got back in the car and sped away. 

The woman ran down the alley to a 7-Eleven to use their phone and called her mom, telling her she'd been sexually assaulted by a cop. 

She went to a hospital where she said a nurse made her "feel like pure trash," according to the affidavit. They said she'd need to call police and would have to go to another hospital for an exam. At that point, the woman said she gave up, though she stayed "heartbroken" over it and was "scared as hell to talk to the police about it," the affidavit reads. 

On Nov. 17, the woman used Denver Police Department’s online system to report the assault.

When a Denver detective first started investigating the incident, he met with a sergeant with the Lakewood Police Department. The sergeant said Butler had told him that he had picked up a woman to give her a courtesy ride that night. Butler claimed that when he was dropping her off, she started kissing him and that "his impulses got the best of him," according to the affidavit. The sergeant said nobody in the department had expressed concerns about Butler. 

In a press release, the Lakewood Police Department said it is fully committed to cooperating with Denver police during this investigation.

“The appalling and inexcusable conduct in no way embodies the Lakewood Police Department’s mission to serve and protect with integrity, intelligence and initiative,” said Police Chief Daniel McCasky. “This behavior has no place in our department and will never be tolerated. The arrest of Butler is demoralizing to our organization. As this investigation continues, our top priorities are to remain committed to the safety and well-being of the victim, and to the pursuit of justice for our community.”

In addition to the ongoing efforts of Denver detectives, Lakewood police are also reviewing any allegations of possible misconduct against Butler during his time at the department.

Anybody with information on Butler’s actions while he was employed with the Lakewood Police Department is encouraged to call 303-763-6800.

Butler is scheduled to appear in court Thursday at 1:30 p.m.