Local News

Cherry Hospital worker accused of sexual offense

Posted December 3, 2008 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated December 4, 2008 1:04 p.m. EST

— A former Cherry Hospital employee is charged with a felony sexual offense after being accused of having sex with a patient, Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Tom Lawrence said.

Perry J. Butler, 36, of 204 S. Church St. in Mt. Olive, was a health care technician at the institution when the incident occurred on Nov. 4, documents show.

Investigators said they believe Perry engaged in sexual acts with the victim while the victim was in the custody of the institution, according to information contained in a search warrant.

Cherry Hospital Police arrested Butler on Dec. 1, and he was released after posting bond

He is expected in court on Dec. 16.

Butler was also one of the employees at the hospital suspended for neglecting Steven Howard Sabock, a patient at the hospital who died after being left sitting in the same room for nearly 24 hours before he died.

Last week, two ex-Cherry Hospital workers were convicted of assaulting a patient at the mental facility. Taniko Dominique Upton, 33, and William Kenneth Johnson, 52, were both convicted of misdemeanor simple assault on a handicapped person.