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Crime & Courts

New trial date slated for DeKalb pastor in child porn case

Corey Butler (right) Pastor at Jesus Is The Way Christian Center in DeKalb, prepares to leave Judge Robbin Stuckert's courtroom with attorney Bob Motta of Aurora on Nov. 1, 2017, at the DeKalb County Courthouse Sycamore.
Corey Butler (right) Pastor at Jesus Is The Way Christian Center in DeKalb, prepares to leave Judge Robbin Stuckert's courtroom with attorney Bob Motta of Aurora on Nov. 1, 2017, at the DeKalb County Courthouse Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – A DeKalb pastor who will soon go to trial on child pornography charges hasn’t paid a dime toward his electronic home monitoring since February, DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said.

Corey D. Butler, 37, who has said he’s still preaching at Jesus is the Way Christian Center in DeKalb, has been charged with possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography.
If convicted of the most serious charge, sharing child porn, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

He was ordered to wear an electronic home monitoring ankle bracelet in April 2015 and posted $10,000 bail, a couple of months after police said they’d found pornography was being distributed from a computer at Butler’s address in the 600 block of Kent Road in DeKalb between Feb. 28 and March 2, 2015.

He was arrested in September for not paying his fees for the bracelet, which defendants pay $6.50 a day to wear, which allows them to go to work, the grocery store, church and effectively live their lives, as long as any movement is cleared by deputies, rather than be in jail. Butler had paid less than $800 of the about $5,400 he owed at that point, and he was up to date on his payments until March, at which point no more payments came in, Scott said.

Butler now owes about $6,000, after paying less than $1,650.

After multiple delays of his trial, Butler is now set to go before a jury at 10 a.m. Nov. 6, with a final jury setting at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1, Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert ruled Tuesday. A final jury setting is set for
1:30 p.m. Nov. 1.

Butler is due back in court at 9 a.m. Aug. 24 for a status hearing, and Stuckert still needs to rule on motions recently filed by Butler’s Aurora-based lawyer, Bob Motta.

Motta asked that State’s Attorney
Alicia Caplan turn over evidence including a forensic report about the digital evidence against Butler for his expert witness to interpret and testify about, and video of police interviewing Butler at the DeKalb Police Department.

Police said that in that interview, Butler admitted to possessing the material and letting others view and download it between Feb. 28 and March 2, 2015, but he later denied ever possessing or distributing child pornography. Court records show Butler blamed pop-up ads from an adult porn website for child porn being on his computer.

Police said in court records that officers with the Illinois Crimes Against Children Task Force learned that child pornography was being distributed from a computer at Butler’s address in the
600 block of Kent Road in DeKalb.

At the time of Butler’s arrest, he was mentoring students at DeKalb High School and DeKalb School District 428’s two middle schools. He is barred from any involvement with children as a condition of his $10,000 bond.

The case already was 2 years old when Butler elected to go to trial rather
than take a plea deal in May 2017, since that time Stuckert has urged Butler’s counsel to pick up the pace and prepare for trial. Motta relieved Tom Benno last spring, after Butler elected to change lawyers.

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