Jesse Matthew Takes Plea in 2005 Va. Sexual Assault

Jesse Matthew
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In a Fairfax, Va., court, Jesse Matthew took a plea Wednesday in a decade-old sexual assault, the Washington Post reports. The charges included attempted capital murder, abduction with intent to defile and sexual assault.

Matthew, 33, entered an Alford plea, which means that he does not admit guilt but acknowledges that the commonwealth has enough evidence to convict him. His plea came midtrial, after three days of testimony, which included the victim’s account of the 2005 attack.

The case was unsolved for years until authorities arrested and charged Matthew last February in the abduction and death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Detectives collected DNA from him that matched the DNA of his 2005 rape victim, forensic experts said at the trial.

Police also matched Matthew’s DNA with evidence collected from their investigation of Morgan Harrington’s slaying. Harrington, a Virginia Tech student, disappeared after leaving a concert Oct. 17, 2009. Investigators found her remains three months later.

The judge is scheduled to sentence Matthew in October. He could receive up to three life sentences. Matthew still faces prosecution in the Graham case.

Read more at the Washington Post

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