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Former JSO officer, softball coach pleads guilty to 2 counts of attempted sexual battery

Matthew Butler, 42, faces 20 years in prison and 20 years in prison, if the judge accepts his plea deal. He will be sentenced Wednesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Editor's Note: The video above is from a previous story dated March 27, 2019.

A former Jacksonville Sheriff's Office deputy and local softball coach pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted capital sexual battery charges, according to court documents.

Matthew Butler, 42, faces 20 years in prison and 20 years in prison if the judge accepts his plea deal, according to a law enforcement source. He will be sentenced Wednesday.

The two counts Butler pleaded guilty to stem from two of three active cases against him in Duval County. The first case was filed in Mar. 2019, the second in April 2019 and the third in Oct. 2020.

Between the three cases, Butler faced 19 counts against him. He had pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges until Tuesday when he amended his plea to guilty on two attempted capital sexual battery charges.

Background

Butler was originally arrested in March 2019. The arrest warrant affidavit from 2019 states the two victims in the case are both minors.

He was charged with 17 counts in his initial arrest including attempted capital sexual battery, sexual battery, possession of photographs/sexual performance by child and lewd and lascivious behavior. 

In April 2019, he received another charge of lewd and lascivious behavior in a separate case.

In Oct. 2020, he was again charged with attempted capital sexual battery in a third case after JSO interviewed another victim who was also a minor.

In May of this year, one of the victim's families filed a lawsuit against Butler and the Fort Caroline Athletic Association, the league that employed Butler as a coach. 

The lawsuit alleges that the association breached its duty by failing to require at least two parents, hosts, or volunteers in the presence of children at all times.

As a coach, Butler was responsible for the safety, supervision and protection of the children participating in post-game activities.