Beatrice Man Sentenced to 26-41 Years for Sexual Assault

Joseph Buttercase

A 30-year-old Beatrice man will spend 26 to 41 years in prison for the brutal beating and sexual assault of a woman last year.

Joseph Buttercase was sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison for one count of first-degree sexual assault, four to five years for one count of false imprisonment, 20 months to five years for one count of strangulation and one year for one count of third-degree domestic assault, Attorney General Jon Bruning announced Tuesday.

The sentences will run consecutively.

In July 2011, Buttercase assaulted a woman -- whose name is being withheld to protect her identity -- in his home over a period of more than three hours. She was punched in the face, head-butted, slammed onto the floor and strangled her to near unconsciousness, before Buttercase violently sexually assaulted her.

A jury found Buttercase guilty of the charges in Gage County District Court in August, after only two and a half hours of deliberation.

More than 100 exhibits were offered into evidence during the four-day trial, including blood and semen samples.

"This man brutally beat a woman for hours before sexually assaulting her," Bruning said. "Today's sentence sends a clear message that violence against women will not be tolerated in the State of Nebraska. This is an appropriate sentence for the seriousness of these crimes."