Cold case investigation brings justice for victim of sexual assault in Olympic National Park

Sunrise lights clouds above Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. NPS photo by G Longenbaugh.
A cold case investigation by an ISB Special Agent brings justice for a young victim of sexual assault in Olympic National Park.

NPS photo/G Longenbaugh.

News Release Date: November 17, 2017

Contact: NPS Investigative Services Branch (ISB), (202) 379-4761

A man who committed aggravated sexual assault on a child in Olympic National Park in 2001 will serve more than 8 years in prison. Charles Jason Butcher, age 46, will then serve 10 years of supervised release. He must also comply with DNA collection and lifetime sex offender registration. The sentence was handed down in federal court today. 

"The nature of this offense is extremely odious," the federal judge said at the time of sentencing. 

The victim and her mother reported the assault to local law enforcement in 2012. Butcher operated Log Cabin Resort within the park on Lake Crescent when the incident occurred. 

A Special Agent with the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) opened an investigation into this cold case, which was particularly sensitive due to the victim's young age at the time. Despite his denials, investigators were able to collect evidence of Butcher's crime. Careful and determined steps on the part of investigators and the brave victim led to Butcher admitting his crime in May 2016. Butcher was also implicated in further allegations of sexual assault on another child.

“For fifteen years the defendant denied sexually abusing the two young victims in this case, compounding a horrific betrayal,” said US Attorney who prosecuted the case.  “I commend the courage of the victims and the commitment of the Park Service investigator who took what was considered a cold case and developed the evidence necessary to convict.”

The National Park Service is dedicated to supporting victims and witnesses of all ages. Being the victim of a crime can be devastating, but our goal is to ensure that every victim of or witness to a crime that occurs within the National Park Service community is treated with dignity and respect. We inform victims of their legal rights and provide them the necessary support and services they are entitled to throughout the continuum of care. More resources are available on the US Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime website.

ISB: the Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service

Last updated: November 17, 2017