CLINTON — A Clinton man has been convicted of 67 counts connected with the sexual abuse and exploitation of a little girl.
The jury deliberated for approximately an hour and a half Wednesday afternoon before finding Jason Boutwell, 33, guilty of seven charges of second-degree sexual abuse, a Class B felony, and 60 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, production, a Class C felony. His sentencing is set for 9 a.m. April 10.
The State maintained throughout the trial, which began Monday, that between February 2006 and January 2012, the defendant engaged in sexual contact with a child under the age of 12 at least seven times and that he had the victim engage in sex acts or pose nude or provocatively for the purpose of being photographed.
“Her relationship with Jason Boutwell was one of trust, one of thinking of him as a father,” Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow said in his closing statement. “The reality was that he was using (the victim’s) trust to abuse her.”
More than 60 contraband photos discovered on a computer used by Boutwell were entered into evidence Tuesday and the 12-year-old victim testified about the abuse she sustained at the hand of Boutwell. She identified each of the photographs as featuring herself and told the court that Boutwell is the other person in many of the photos.
Wednesday morning, Boutwell took the stand and denied that he sexually abused and photographed his former girlfriend’s daughter, who at one time called him Dad. His attorney, Bruce Ingham, asked Boutwell why the victim identified him as her abuser in court Thursday if he was not guilty.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Boutwell said.
Boutwell told the court that he considered the girl his daughter and tried to treat her the same as the two sons he has with her mother. He spent time with her and drove her to school. He also created a decorative door trim for her bedroom, much like he did for her brothers.