Former CNA pleads guilty to planning sexual assaults of residents

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Channing J. Butler
Channing J. Butler

Update: Channing Butler was sentenced to 14 years in prison on July 29.

A former certified nursing assistant at an Illinois assisted living and memory care community whose case gained national notoriety faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced July 29 after pleading guilty to three counts of solicitation to commit aggravated criminal sexual assault against three residents with dementia.

As McKnight's Senior Living previously reported, Channing J. Butler, 26, was arraigned on six counts of solicitation to commit aggravated criminal sexual assault, all felonies, in January. Local authorities had begun investigating him when a man told them that Butler had offered to pay him to have sex with a resident while he worked alone at Bickford Cottage in Champaign, IL. Authorities subsequently found what they believed to be corroboration of the man's allegations on Butler's cellphone. Three of the six counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to the News-Gazette.

Police said that Butler tried to orchestrate oral and vaginal sexual assaults on the three women, who were aged 88, 90 and 95. Two of the assaults were thwarted when the women pushed away their would-be attackers; one woman was assaulted and has since died, according to the News-Gazette.

Butler's résumé also reportedly includes employment at other senior living and long-term care communities in the area. He had no criminal past.

His alleged actions were thrust into the national spotlight in March when Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited them in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting details on Justice Department efforts to protect senior living residents from being exploited via social media.

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