Steward Butler

Ex-Herd RB faces felony civil rights violations for attack on gay couple

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Not so unexpectedly, a former member of the Marshall football program is facing some very serious legal issues.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Marshall running back Steward Butler had been arrested and charged with battery in connection to the April beating of a same-sex couple.  Butler allegedly became angry after witnessing the couple, two males, kissing.  At the time, it was reported that the Huntington Police Department turned over evidence to the FBI for its review of any civil rights violations.

Saturday, the Associated Press reports, the former Herd player has been accused of two felony civil rights violations. The AP writes that “[t]he accusations against 23-year-old Steward Butler were contained in indictments unsealed Friday by a Cabell County [WV] grand jury.”

While “West Virginia’s civil rights law does not include protections on the basis of sexual orientation,” the Huntington Herald-Dispatch wrote, “[t]he indictment accuses Butler of violating the two men’s civil rights on the basis of their sex.”

In addition to the felony civil rights indictments, Butler was also indicted on two misdemeanor charges of battery.

A few hours after the reports of the assault first surfaced, Butler, who was the Herd’s second-leading rusher each of the last three seasons, was initially indefinitely suspended by and ultimately dismissed from the football program