Jury finds defendant guilty in statutory rape case

NORWICH – Defense attorney Kevin Dayton told a Chenango County jury Tuesday that his client, Gary J. Button Jr., tends to crack under pressure. He said he did so in a written confession given to the authorities, and again Tuesday on the witness stand. In the end, the jury believed Button, not the man hired to defend him.

A panel of 10 women and two men took little time to decide the fate of the statutory rape defendant. Over the two-day trial, the jury heard how the 41-year-old first admitted to a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl, then testified Tuesday that the acknowledgment was an effort to get himself “off the hook.” The jury took less than 30 minutes to find Button, formerly of 190 state Route 320 in Norwich, guilty of rape in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse in the second degree.

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