A 28-year-old Meridian man is being held in the Ada County Jail on felony child sexual abuse charges.
Robert James Butterfield was arrested by Elmore County sheriff’s deputies last week after a warrant was put out for his arrest, according to Meridian Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea. He was charged with one count of lewd conduct with a minor under 16.
The charge stems from an investigation that began on April 12, when Butterfield’s neighbors asked police to make a welfare check at his residence in the 1400 block of Santa Rosa Place in Meridian.
“Once on scene, they heard a bunch of discussion about a possible rape — of a 15-year-old girl,” Basterrechea said.
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The girl was not there but investigators found and questioned her.
“She stated that she had been at a party (at Butterfield’s house), where alcohol had been supplied,” Basterrechea said. “(She said) Mr. Butterfield had come into a bedroom where she was at and raped her.”
Basterrechea said the girl and some other kids had “snuck out of the house” and ended up at Butterfield’s party.
Earlier this month, Butterfield, who is a chainsaw artist, used his Facebook page to solicit girls to live in the woods of Featherville with him for the summer to help finish carvings and help around camp.
“It certainly concerned us,” Basterrechea said of the social media post.
Butterfield was arraigned on May 20, and a public defender was appointed to represent him. His next hearing is 8:30 a.m. June 3.