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Ex-nurse whose rape charges were dismissed sues officer who arrested him

By Pat Reavy, | Posted - Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 5:40pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A former nurse has filed a federal civil lawsuit against the police detective who arrested him on accusations of raping a patient, only to have the charges thrown out of court.

Joshua Shumway, 26, field a complaint in U.S. District Court Wednesday against Roosevelt police detective Peter Butcher, the city of Roosevelt and five others who remained unnamed in court documents but are all described as police officers.

In 2013, Shumway was arrested and accused of raping and threatening to kill a patient. He was later charged with rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, forcible sex abuse and aggravated assault.

But in October of 2015, an 8th District Court judge dismissed all charges at the request of Duchesne County prosecutor Grant Charles. Charles told KSL in November that he stood by his decision to charge Shumway and that the case was dismissed on a technicality.

The judge, however, blasted Butcher in a 33-page ruling for the detective's "superficial and insufficient" investigation following a woman's report that she'd been raped and threatened during an overnight stay at Uintah Basin Medical Center eight months earlier.

In his lawsuit, Shumway said, "Butcher misled, fabricated and omitted information in order to obtain an arrest warrant directed to Josh Shumway.

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"Officer Butcher's probable cause affidavit, and his later testimony concerning it, contained false statements, exaggerations, and outright fabrications, and further omitted facts that were necessary to prevent statements contained therein from being misleading," he continued.

Shumway also accuses Butcher of coercing him into involuntarily writing an "apology" letter that was cast as a confession, according to the complaint. Butcher did that in part, Shumway claims, by exploiting the fact both are devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Butcher presented himself as a religious person with shared belief and specifically presented himself as a religious counselor to Shumway," the complaint states. "The religious pressure applied by Butcher culminated in Butcher and Shumway praying together during the interrogation. Butcher made at least 50 references to religion throughout the interrogations, as shown by these and many other examples in the interrogation transcripts. Butcher made multiple references to LDS hierarchy, scriptures, afterlife, God and repentance analogies and discussions. … Shumway, by Butcher's deceitful, misleading and manipulative conduct, viewed Butcher as a friend and even as a religious counselor."

Butcher also got Shumway to write the confession letter by claiming "that there was concrete evidence supporting the allegations against Shumway such that the case was a 'slam dunk,'" including DNA and video evidence, which there was not, according to court records.

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