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Press Release

Des Moines Woman Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison for Child Exploitation Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

Des Moines, IA – A Des Moines woman was sentenced Friday, February 24, 2023, to a total of 45 years in prison for conspiring to produce child pornography and child exploitation.

According to court documents, Ashley Marie Butler, age 33, produced child pornography on at least three occasions in 2021 when she videorecorded her co-defendant and husband, Shane William Butler, sexually abusing a minor victim. Videos of the sexual abuse of the minor victim and child pornography were located on Shane Butler and Ashley Butler’s cell phones.

Chief United States District Court Judge Stephanie Marie Rose imposed a 30-year sentence on the conspiracy count and a 15-year sentence on the production count, to be served consecutively, for a total sentence of 45 years. After her prison term, Butler was also ordered to serve a total of 10 years of supervised release. In addition, Butler was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution as well as a $200 fine to the Crime Victim’s Assistance Fund.

Co-defendant Shane Butler also received a 45-year sentence in December 2022.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The Des Moines Police Department, the Polk County Attorney’s Office, the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force investigated the case. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa prosecuted the case.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer

Updated February 27, 2023

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