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Crime & Courts

Pastor Corey Butler's lawyer says he can't afford fitness exam in child porn case

Child porn case has continued for 4 years

SYCAMORE – It’s been more than four years since DeKalb pastor Corey Butler was charged with two child pornography offenses, and his case remains bogged down in DeKalb County court.

On Thursday, Butler, 38, told the court that he could not afford to pay for a fitness evaluation he requested in February.

Butler’s lawyer, Robert Motta, told Judge Robbin Stuckert that Butler already has undergone a first session of the evaluation, but did not realize the two remaining sessions would cost another $1,000.

“He wasn’t aware he had to pay more after the first interview,” Motta said. “He’s living with his mother and didn’t have any money. It took him three months to come up with $800 [for the first session].”

Butler, pastor of Jesus is the Way Christian Center in DeKalb, was charged in April 2015 with possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. Police said in court records that officers with the Illinois Crimes Against Children Task Force learned child 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. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

He has been free since posting $1,000 bail a few days after his arrest and has been on electronic home monitoring and is barred from any involvement with children as terms of his release.

Butler was accompanied by a handful of supporters Tuesday, as has been the case in his court appearances over the years.

As Butler’s defense has continued to make pre-trial motions requiring more time, Stuckert has consistently urged Motta to move things along. The judge seemed surprised at Motta’s request Thursday and said she had never experienced a delay in the evaluation report because of money. She said Butler would have to fill out an affidavit showing his assets and liabilities to prove financial hardship.

“This case has been going on for a very long time, well too long,” Stuckert said.

Motta said he has serious doubt Butler is mentally fit to stand trial, and filed the original motion for an evaluation Feb. 2. The motion states a defendant can be unfit for trial, yet not be insane.

“Through preparation for trial, concern has come to light that the defendant may be currently suffering from such a mental disease or defect,” the motion reads.

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