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Youth minister from Hillsborough convicted of sexual contact with teen in South Brunswick

A former youth minister at a church in Franklin Township was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and having criminal sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl.

Shawn Butler, 52, of Hillsborough, was found guilty by a jury on Nov. 16 and will be sentenced on Feb. 11 by Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Paone to a term of up to five  years in a New Jersey state prison.

As part of the sentence, Butler will be subjected to Megan’s Law and will be placed on parole supervision for life upon his release from prison, according to information provided by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

During a trial that began on Oct. 30, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Carver presented evidence and testimony that Butler improperly touched a 15-year-old girl in South Brunswick, and at his home in Hillsborough, on a number of occasions between March and June 2014.

Butler was charged following an investigation by Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Detective Roger Tuohy of the South Brunswick Police Department.

During the investigation, it was determined that Butler had been working as a youth minister at the Eternal Life Christian Center in the Somerset section of Franklin Township and also served on the church’s executive board, according to the statement.

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