Business owner gets probation for sexual battery

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Rockwell resident and business owner Edward “Butch” Rumple has been convicted on two counts of sexual battery in Rowan County District Court for incidents that occurred in 2008.
District Court Judge Kevin Eddinger gave Rumple 36 months of supervised probation.
Rumple, 66, was originally charged in late 2008 with three counts of sexual battery. One of those charges was dismissed by the court during a March 19 hearing. Rumple gave notice at the hearing that he intends to appeal.
Rumple has run more than once for public office, including an unsuccessful 2002 bid for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. He also owns Atwell One Stop on N.C. 152 west of China Grove.
He must register as a sex offender, the court ordered.
The charges said Rumple grabbed three women’s breasts.
One woman told authorities Rumple assaulted her between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31. Another victim said it happened to her July 1 through Nov. 26. The third victim said he grabbed her sometime between Sept. 1 and Oct. 27.
Rumple was arrested Dec. 23.
One victim, who the Post is not identifying, confirmed Wednesday,that she was employed by Rumple when the incidents occurred.
The woman no longer works for him. She told Rowan County Sheriff’s Office investigators the incidents happened during the month of October.
The woman said she is satisfied with the outcome of the case, but added she hopes the courts don’t grant his appeal and overturn his conviction.
She said it is terrible when men take advantage of female workers.
“Somebody’s got to step forward and stop them,” she said.
The woman said she and the other victims came forward individually.
In fact, she said, there are other victims, some who claim Rumple assaulted them before 2008.
“Some of the people it happened to, they couldn’t get a hold of,” she said.
She said she is now wary of working with and for other men.
“It makes me skeptical to a point, but I know everybody is not alike,” she said.
She also hopes this does not happen to someone else and said she is glad she and other victims came forward.
Court records show one charge was dismissed because the victim did not show up in court.
In addition to registering as a sex offender, Rumple was ordered not to have contact with the victims. He must submit a DNA sample, seek pyschological treatment, be of good behavior and pay court costs and fines of $681.
Rumple is a native of Rowan County and a former Atwell Fire Department volunteer. He served as a special sheriff’s deputy for many years, according to Post archives.
No one answered the telephone Wednesday at a number listed for Rumple.