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Ex-cop charged with sexual assault dies before conclusion of criminal trial

Randall Butler was accused in Denver of sexually assaulting a woman while on duty after he offered to give her a ride home.

DENVER — A week into his criminal trial, Denver prosecutors said that a  former Lakewood police agent charged with two counts of sexual assault for an incident in 2018 died by suicide.

Randall Shaun Butler, 39, was on duty when he offered a ride to the female victim, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.

>The video above first aired in January 2019.

His trial began on June 1. Closing arguments were set for Tuesday, June 8 but before they could begin, the judge announced that Butler had taken his own life, according to prosecutors.

“We are sorry that this trial ended in this manner and our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Mr. Butler," DA Beth McCann said in a statement. "I am grateful that the victims in this case found the strength and courage to come forward and had an opportunity to tell their stories despite not having the finality of a jury verdict.”

Prosecutors said Butler drove the victim to a parking lot near Sheridan Boulevard and 25th Avenue where he sexually assaulted her on the night of Nov. 16, 2018. He was arrested in connection with that incident in December 2018.

RELATED: Ex-Lakewood cop facing sex charges in Denver arrested again in Lakewood

A month later, in January 2019, he was arrested again on charges that occurred in June 2018, according to police.

The victim in the June case originally said she did not want to come forward, according to an arrest warrant affidavit for Butler provided by the 1st Judicial District Attorney's Office. She told investigators from the Arvada Police Department (APD) and Lakewood Police Department (LPD) that she was a felon and thought no one would believe her.

After news broke of Butler's arrest, the APD detective she kept in touch with encouraged her to come forward after months of trying to get her to report the incident, according to the affidavit.

RELATED: Former Lakewood officer arrested for 3rd time, accused of sex-related crime while on duty

According to a release from LPD, Butler was also accused of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a woman while giving her a ride home while on-duty the evening of July 29, 2014.

When LPD got word of the allegations against Butler in late 2018, they placed him on administrative leave, police said. He later resigned. According to Lakewood police, he had been with the department since 2013.