Former candidate convicted of sexual battery

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 15, 2011

SALISBURY — A former businessman and one-time candidate for Rowan County commissioner has been sentenced to 30 days in prison and two years probation for sexual offenses involving female employees.
A jury convicted Edward Hubert “Butch” Rumple, 68, of Rockwell, of two counts of sexual battery today in Rowan County Superior Court.
Rumple used to own the Atwell One Stop convenience store on N.C. 152 near China Grove. The two victims worked for him there.
“Their testimony showed that Mr. Rumple not only sexually harassed them but also engaged in sexual contact with them by force and against their will,” Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said in a press release. “Two other former employees gave testimony that they had also been subjected to similar abuse by Mr. Rumple.”
Rumple had served for 22 years as a special reserve deputy for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. Cook said evidence presented during the trial “indicated that Mr. Rumple used that position in an attempt to coerce and intimidate the women.”
Superior Court Judge John O. Craig sentenced Rumple to 120 days in prison, which was suspended for 24 months supervised probation. Rumple was ordered to begin a 30-day active prison sentence today and will have to register as a sex offender following his release from prison.
Rumple was originally charged in late 2008 with three counts of sexual battery, but one count was later dismissed. He was convicted of two counts of sexual battery in 2009, but he appealed.