Rape case takes a turn after E.C. woman recants

CROWN POINT — A woman who had accused a Chicago man of raping her is now charged with false informing, according to court records.

Lester J. Butler, 38, had been accused of raping the woman April 20 inside an East Chicago home, according to court records. All of the criminal charges, including a Level 1 felony charge of rape, against Butler were dismissed last week.

According to a motion filed by the Lake County prosecutor’s office, the state moved to dismiss the charges against Butler after the woman testified in open court and provided a letter stating the allegations were false and untrue.

In the letter, the woman states that she doesn’t want to pursue any criminal charges. She also wrote that she was making the request without any outside pressure or influence.

The state’s motion to dismiss the case was granted May 5, and Butler was released from Lake County Jail.

The next day, the woman was charged with false informing, a Class A misdemeanor. According to the affidavit, the woman was charged with false informing, because her testimony in court and the letter indicated she gave false information in regards to the commission of a crime.

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said the woman told detectives and a deputy prosecuting attorney that the rape didn’t happen. He said the East Chicago detective on the case determined that what unfolding was serious enough that it warranted them seeking a charge of false reporting.

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“It’s fraud on the court,” Carter said. “We can’t tolerate that.”

In his experience, Carter said he has seen similar situations but noted it is “extremely rare.”

Butler said he met the woman on an online dating website and had known her a couple weeks before friends began sharing with him a news story about the charges.

The allegations spread on social media like wildfire, and he said it even led to people making threats against his life.

He said they had a consensual relationship, but he maintains that they didn’t have sex on April 20. He recalled she gave him gas money when they saw each other on April 20.

Butler said his friend and the woman all traveled together to the East Chicago Police Department when he surrendered to police.

He urged people to gather all the information about an incident before jumping to judgement.


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