FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A 53-year-old resident of Hillsborough who served as a youth minister has been found guilty of 3rd degree Prohibited Participation in a Youth Serving Organization following his conviction last year on a related sexual assault conviction that involved a 15-year-old girl.

Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said that Shawn Butler, age 53 of Hillsborough, was prohibited from participating in youth serving organizations.New Jersey following his conviction last year, but had continued to do so after that conviction.

Butler violated this law by participating in a youth ministry at a religious center in Franklin Township, New Jersey, as a youth counselor, youth mentor, and youth chaperone. The children that he counseled, mentored, and chaperoned were between the ages of 12 to 17 years old. Butler worked with these children by supervising and mentoring them at various youth ministry events/activities including overnight camps, concerts, outings, and youth groups.

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Assistant Prosecutor Kim Savino-French represented the State during the trial. The sentencing is scheduled for July 19, 2019. Butler faces up to 5 years in prison with a 2 ½ year parole disqualifier.

In November, 2018, A Superior Court jury in Middlesex County found Butler guilty of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey. During his trial that began on Oct. 30, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Carver presented evidence and testimony that Butler improperly touched a 15-year-old girl in South Brunswick, and at his home in Hillsborough on several occasions between March and June of 2014.

Robertson requests anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit at (908) 231-7100 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ.

Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential

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