SHAFAQNA – The man charged with kidnapping University of Virginia student Hannah Graham was accused of separate sexual assaults at two other Virginia universities while an undergraduate, according to a published report.
The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Jesse Matthew Jr. was accused of two assaults in an 11-month period, first at Liberty University in Lynchburg, and then at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. Both reports were investigated by police, but Matthew was ultimately never charged.
Matthew is currently charged with abduction with intent to defile in the case of Graham, who was last seen in the early morning hours of Sept. 13. She was captured on surveillance footage walking through a mall in Charlottesville, Va. and sent a text message to her friend indicating that she was lost. Matthew is being held without bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 4.
The Post reported that the first sexual assault allegation against Matthew was made Oct. 17, 2002. Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette told the paper that a woman accused Matthew of raping her on campus. The case was investigated by Lynchburg Police and was turned over to the prosecutor’s office. However, Doucette said the accuser declined to press charges and no independent corroborating witnesses could be found.
Liberty’s general counsel told the Post that Matthew’s last day at the school was the same day that the rape accusation was made. The paper reported that the sexual assault allegation was reported early in the morning.
Christopher Newport University spokeswoman Lori Jacobs told the Post that Matthew was accused of a sexual assault on campus Sept. 7, 2003. The allegation was investigated by campus police, and Matthew left the school less than a week later. However, it is not clear how the case was resolved or whether Matthew left the school as a direct result of the investigation.
Virginia State Police have previously said that they have uncovered a “forensic link” between Matthew and Morgan Harrington a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who disappeared after attending a concert at the University of Virginia in 2009. Her body was found later that year. However, authorities have not specified the nature of the link, and no charges have been filed in connection with the case.
Matthew is also scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning on two reckless driving charges.