Baton Rouge teacher fired, accused of raping student

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge teacher was fired after he was accused of raping a student in a closet earlier this month, according to police officials.

According to an arrest warrant for Johnnie Butler, a teacher and track coach at Istrouma High, the student victim said Butler texted her to meet him somewhere on campus. Once she arrived, the victim said Butler allegedly started kissing her and pushed her into a closet. According to the warrant, the victim said she “froze and could not say anything” because of shock. She then told detectives Butler pulled her pants down before allegedly raping her.

After the victim allowed authorities to search her cell phone, texts between her and Butler were found. The text thread that started on April 21 and ended on May 3 revealed several suggestive messages from Butler to the victim.

One message referred to Butler wanting to lay the victim down to “get the full effect.”

When Butler met detectives at East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office (EBRSO) headquarters for an interview, he denied having any sexual relations with the victim. The arrest warrant noted that detectives read text messages sent to the victim from Butler that he claimed he didn’t recall sending. However, Butler did admit that he deleted text messages between himself and the victim before he arrived.

The document also noted that Butler was not informed of who the investigation involved ahead of time. When asked if he thought it was strange that he deleted the messages, Butler said “No.” After viewing the messages between himself and the victim, Butler declined to answer more questions and requested a lawyer before the interview concluded and he was released.

Video footage from the school obtained after Butler’s interview showed the victim in the gym area with Butler at the time the text messages showed he asked her to meet.

The document notes that Butler unlocked a door around the time he sent a message to the victim saying he would. Butler and the victim left the gym through doors on the side of the building. The document says six minutes after leaving, Butler returned. According to text messages, Butler told the victim that he would let her know when to leave.

Butler faces one count of third-degree rape and prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student.

Butler served as a reserve officer for EBRSO for about 17 months.

He was terminated by the EBRPSS superintendent on May 10. He has been with them since 2016 till 2020 as a truancy officer. Then in 2021, he came back to EBRPSS as a PE teacher and coach until his termination.

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