The Wexford brothers Frank and David Butler are in separate US prisons for child abuse

David and Frank Butler were convicted within months of each other and are both currently serving prison sentences

David Butler was sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Claude M. Hilton on June 5 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. At the time, his older brother Frank was on trial in Florida after exchanging a series of lewd messages and traveling to meet what he believed was a 13-year-old child for sex.

Frank Butler was sentenced to three and a half years in Florida State Prison in August, while David Butler is currently serving a five-year sentence at FCI Allenwood, a low-security prison in Pennsylvania, where he is scheduled to be released on October 22. 2027.

Both men come from a distinguished family in the town of Wexford and are former students of St Peter’s College. They are the sons of Frank (FX) Butler, who died in 2008, and Noreen Butler, who died in September last year at the age of 93.

Both parents were well respected in their local community, had deep roots in their local Clonard community and were involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors and community organizations.

FCI Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution, where Wexford native David Butler is serving a five-year sentence for transporting child pornography.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) first became aware of David Butler in July 2019 when they received information from a social media application that a user believed to be the defendant had uploaded an image file containing images of suspected child abuse had a chat. The image was uploaded from a device at Butler’s residence in Washington DC.

That’s when the online activities of David Butler, a financial manager for the Washington National Opera at the prestigious Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, came under the attention of authorities.

Around September 2021, Homeland Security was again notified of the upload of suspected child sexual abuse images from David Butler’s residence.

On October 6, 2021, while returning to the United States from a trip home to Ireland, HSI ambushed the defendant and he was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

When confronted by HSI agents, Butler admitted to using a social media app through which he received what he considered to be images of child sexual abuse. He also admitted to being a member of a group on the social media app in which other unknown members posted child sexual abuse images.

He acknowledged that he had used the Samsung phone in his possession to access child sexual abuse images as recently as September 2021, explaining that viewing the material was “a fantasy/role play thing”.

A forensic examination of Butler’s phone uncovered more than 400 image files and three video files containing horrific images of child abuse. The footage showed minors, many under the age of 12, in various stages of undressing and engaging in sexual acts. A forensic investigation revealed the Wexford man had once been looking for a “six-year-old hot bikini girl”.

On April 20, 2022, law enforcement officials executed a federal search warrant on David Butler’s home in Washington, DC. Several electronic devices were confiscated, including a Dell laptop, which contained material depicting sexual acts by minors.

Butler had already entered a guilty plea to the charge in February of this year, which carries a minimum sentence of five years. Given his age and clean record, his lawyer asked the court for leniency.

The court was given character references from David Butler’s wife Katherine, his former pastor Rev Gary Studiniewski and his current priest Father Brendan Glasgow Junior.

In her statement, Butler’s wife, Katherine, said that during their married life, David “worked tirelessly” to support the family and provide opportunities for their children. She said he was a “tenacious advocate” for her son, who has significant special needs, and encouraged her daughters in all their endeavors, including “attending hours of music lessons every weekend and helping them practice and prepare for auditions and tests.” help”. “.

She explained that “David organized carpools to take our daughters and friends back and forth for long evening and weekend rehearsals and performances, whether at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music Center or the National Cathedral” and “camping trips, hikes, day trips.” organized trips to the beach or longer sightseeing visits to New York, London or Amsterdam”.

She spoke about his involvement in church and his local community before moving on to criminal charges.

“David and I have had several conversations about the criminal charges to which he has pleaded guilty and to which he admits full responsibility,” she said. “He expressed to me on many occasions how deeply he regretted his actions” and how much he wished he had sought help for an addiction that had spiraled out of control.

“He has also honestly accepted that he suffers from chronic alcohol addiction. Since December 2021, he has taken steps to address this addiction and is fully committed to maintaining total sobriety.”

“David has also sought specialist counseling with a sex therapist and attends a weekly group therapy session for men struggling with various types of sex addiction. David understands the immense consequences of his actions and takes full responsibility.”

While the couple are said to be in the process of divorcing, Ms Butler added: “I have forgiven David and I very much hope for him and for our autistic son that the court will show him mercy in terms of incarceration.”

His former pastor Gary Studiniewski described Butler as “a humble family man and community servant”, while Father Brendan Glasgow described him as “a faithful person” who “puts that faith into action”.

Butler was deemed to be at “low risk” of reoffending and was said to be “remorseful and sorry for his actions.” It was also noted that he was “very aware of how the consequences of his behavior are now affecting his wife and children, and that he is making progress in identifying the origins and triggers of his pornography consumption.”

Butler’s attorney, Cary Citronberg, concluded: “The defendant has already been severely punished. He lost the job he held for two decades and is now almost 60 years old. Given the nature of the charges, he faces highly uncertain prospects for future employment and significant uncertainty regarding his dismissal.

“He loses his wife and family who abandoned him as a result of this case. His life was decimated. These sentences, in addition to five years in prison, are more than necessary to achieve the objectives of the sentencing.”

Judge Claude M. Hilton was inclined to agree. Taking all the circumstances into account, he sentenced David Butler to a minimum sentence of 60 months or five years in prison. At the end of his sentence, he will be released on supervised release for a period of ten years.

For its part, the Kennedy Center confirmed that David Butler was a former employee until August 2022 and worked as a financial manager for the Washington National Opera. They issued a statement saying:

“Upon learning of the arrest and subsequent charges, David Butler was terminated from his employment effective immediately August 1, 2022. As financial manager at the Washington National Opera, this individual’s job responsibilities did not include contact with minors. Further inquiries should be directed to the US Department of Justice.


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