Marshall University football player charged with beating same-sex couple

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Staff Reports

Steward Butler

Steward Butler

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University running back Steward Butler was arrested early Wednesday on battery charges alleging that he beat a same-sex couple.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports:

The charges stem from the April 5 beating of two men, moments after they kissed at 5th Avenue and 9th Street in Huntington. Criminal complaints charge Butler witnessed the kiss, exited a passing vehicle and proceeded to shout derogatory words toward both men related to their sexual orientation.

Butler then struck the face of both victims with a closed fist, the complaints charge.

Huntington Police Detective Chris Sperry, who said one of the victims captured the attack on video, called the beating unfortunate. He said the victims, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be able to live their life without such violence.

The charges, filed Wednesday, are misdemeanor violations. Sperry said he has turned over evidence to the FBI for its review of any civil rights violations.

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Cabell County court records show Butler, 23, was arraigned before a magistrate, and released on $10,000 bond.

Marshall’s athletic department said it was gathering information on Butler, a senior, and would handle the matter “internally and appropriately.”

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