HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – A former Marshall University football player has been accused of two felony civil rights violations stemming from his alleged April assault on a gay couple.
The accusations against 23-year-old Steward Butler were contained in indictments unsealed Friday by a Cabell County grand jury, according to media reports.
Butler is accused of striking two men who were returning to their hotel after an evening out in Huntington. The criminal complaint states Butler saw the two kiss, shouted slurs at them, and then punched both in the face.
West Virginia’s civil rights law does not include protection for sexual orientation.
Butler originally claimed he acted in self-defense. It is not clear if he has an attorney.
A running back, he was dismissed from the team and is no longer a student.