Man Arrested in Toddler's Death

Boy raped, beaten to death, investigators say

WASHINGTON -- Authorities have charged a District of Columbia man in the beating death of a toddler.

Jonathan Austin, 33, who lived with the boy and his mother, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder, D.C. police said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in D.C. Superior Court.

Twenty-one-month-old Ronjai Butler, of northwest Washington, was unconscious when he arrived Sunday with his mother at Howard University Hospital, police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

The medical examiner's office later ruled the case a homicide and said the boy's death was caused by blunt force trauma, Officer Quintin Peterson said.

The child was raped and then beaten until he died, investigators said.

Austin is the boyfriend of the mother of the child. He has a prior conviction for assaulting a child. Austin also was present in another incident in which a child died, but he was not charged in that case, sources told WRC-TV.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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