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Salem Police Officer Charged With Rape, Held On $10K Bail

SALEM (CBS) -- Prosecutors say there is video surveillance evidence against a Salem police officer arraigned on rape and indecent assault and battery charges Wednesday in Salem District Court.

Officer Brian Butler, the husband of Salem Police Chief Mary Butler, was arrested late Tuesday afternoon by Massachusetts State Police. Bail has been set at $10,000.

Chief Butler was present in the courtroom, as her husband pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Butlers have been married for 29 years.

According to the police report, the alleged incident took place on October 31 against a drunk person in protective custody at the Salem Police station. The alleged victim has not been identified.

The Essex County DA's office said the defendant is accused of touching the victim's genital area while the victim was making a phone call.  He is also accused of performing oral sex upon the victim in a broom closet without his consent.

Officer Butler told investigators he "gave in to temptation," adding he had ruined a 24-year career.

Butler's defense attorney said in court his client claimed the incident was consensual.

He has been placed on paid administrative leave until the case is resolved.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for December 15.

Chief Butler is now on personal leave to be with her family.

Last year, Officer Butler pinned the chief's badge on his wife in a formal ceremony.

Salem PD Officer Butler pins badge on wife
Salem police officer Brian Butler pins the chief's badge on his wife Mary. (Image from Salem PD)

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll expressed her support of Chief Butler and the police department but dismay with Officer Butler.

"Like many in our community, I am surprised and deeply disappointed by the allegations made against Officer Brian Butler. While the incident is still under review, there is no doubt that this is a serious issue involving his conduct as a police officer while on duty. In light of the circumstances, we expect to immediately commence termination proceedings, pursuant to civil service statutes. I also want to express my concern and compassion for the young man who came forward with this report.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope reports

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