Trainer pleads not guilty to child molestation charges

Crime, Law and JusticeTrials and ArbitrationJustice SystemSportsBodybuildingSexual Assault

A bodybuilder and personal trainer accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three felony charges.

Henry Franklin "Hank'' Butler, 35, a personal trainer and owner of Train with Hank Personal Training Gym in University Heights was arrested late Sunday and booked in central jail early Monday morning.

"I can let you know that at this point, we do not believe the defendant has victims out in the public. This is somebody that was known to the defendant," said prosecutor Marisa Di Tillio.

Di Tillio did not disclose the exact relationship however she said that the alleged molestation was recurring.

"It's our understanding that it's been going on since July of last year," she said. "The defendant has been ordered to not have any contact with the victim...telephone, e-mail, through a third party, anything of that nature."

Butler faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of the two counts of forcible lewd act on a child and committing a sex act on a child under the age of 10, according to Di Tillio. He was also held in lieu of $1 million bail.

According to his website, Butler's been a fitness instructor for 15 years and was an Ironman bodybuilding champion in 2001.

His attorney, outside of court said the public should not pass judgment on his client.

"We're not going to play this out in the media. It should be tried, and presented the evidence in court," said Butler's attorney George H. Ramos.

Judge David Szumowski scheduled a readiness conference for June 25 and a preliminary hearing for July 13.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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