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Newfoundland man sentenced to 5 years in prison for raping 11-year-old girl

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) police headquaters in St John's Newfoundland.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) police headquaters in St John's Newfoundland. The Canadian Press Images/Lee Brown

WARNING: This post contains explicit language of a sexual nature, discretion is advised.

Christopher Ford Butt, from St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador, has been given a five year prison sentence for the horrific rape of an 11-year-old girl that left her with injuries so severe she  was unable to walk or sit down for several days.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty in June to one count of sexual assault and one count of uttering threats and was sentenced Wednesday by Justice William Goodridge in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court to five years behind bars and three years’ probation — the minimum sentence allowed under the Criminal Code.

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According to an agreed statement of facts, between June and July of 2014 Butt repeatedly lured the 11-year-old girl into his home where he showed her pornographic videos, and sexually assaulted her, with vaginal and anal intercourse.

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Butt, who was described as a family friend and neighbour, continued the assaults over a four week period. He used physical force and threats to ensure cooperation saying he would “beat the living shit” out of her parents and burn their house down if she ever reported the crimes.

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The mother later discovered the injuries and reported them to police on July 26, 2014 after which Butt was charged.

Goodridge accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence for a five-year sentence stating that there were mitigating factors such as Butt’s guilty plea, apology, participation in rehabilitation programs and commitment to continued counselling.

“Mr. Butt’s participation in prison programs while on remand custody and the apology he made in court, offer hope for successful rehabilitation,” Goodridge wrote in his decision. “There is also the reality that Mr. Butt’s childhood was marred by his own experiences as a victim of child sexual abuse.”

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“This does not justify or excuse his criminal acts, but it does help in understanding possible contributing forces that are in play,” he continued, adding that Butt also suffers from bipolar disorder.

The girl in the case declined to make a victim impact statement in court.

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Butt, who has been in custody since Aug. 1, 2014, was given 1,194 days off his sentence for time served and will spend another one year and 38 weeks behind bars.