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Jury finds Martinez man guilty of attempted lewd acts with a minor

A Martinez man who thought he was meeting a teen for sex but was set up by an undercover officer was found guilty last week by a Contra Costa County Superior Court jury, prosecutors said Monday.

William Butte, 50, contacted someone he thought was a minor on a mobile app on Aug. 24, 2017, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

An undercover officer had seen Butte’s sexually explicit post on Craigslist in the now-defunct Causal Encounters section, where Butte asked for a “naughty little girl” to engage in sex acts with him.

During a conversation on the mobile app, Butte discussed meeting the alleged minor in person, shared graphic details of sexual acts and expressed a desire to have sex, prosecutors said.

When the undercover officer told Butte that he was a 15-year-old girl, Butte asked questions about her sexual experience and history, and invited the minor to his home to watch pornography together. They discussed meeting in a public place and when Butte showed up, he was taken into custody and arrested.

On Friday, a jury found Butte guilty of three counts: meeting a minor for lewd purposes, attempted lewd act upon a child and sending harmful matter to a minor.

Prosecutors will be asking that Butte serve time in state prison, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Scott Alonso. Based upon the jury’s verdict, Butte will be required to register as a sex offender.

“Thanks in this case is due entirely to the jurors who sacrificed their time and had to wade through truly disturbing evidence in order to reach a fair verdict. Their service to the community in this case cannot be understated,” Deputy District Attorney Adam Wilks said in a news release. The investigation into Butte was conducted by the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is managed by the San Jose Police Department.

In Contra Costa County, detectives and investigators from the Walnut Creek, Martinez, San Ramon, Concord and Moraga police departments, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Contra Costa County Probation Department, and inspectors from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office participate in the task force.

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