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Victim allegedly raped by Jesse Matthew at Liberty never filed charge

Posted at 10:01 PM, Sep 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-26 14:35:26-04

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Jesse Matthew, a suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, was questioned in connection with an alleged sexual assault nearly 12 years ago, authorities said Thursday.

However, no charges were filed because the woman didn't want to go forward with the case and investigators determined there wasn't enough evidence to arrest Matthew, said Michael Doucette, the Commonwealth's Attorney for Lynchburg, Virginia.

According to a statement from Lynchburg police, a woman reported she was raped on the campus of Liberty University on October 17, 2002.

Matthew told authorities that the woman consented, Doucette said, and added that there were no witnesses.

The complaining witness in the case did not want to move forward with prosecution and there were no independent witnesses.

Matthew was at Liberty for three years, from 2000-2002.

He transferred to Christopher Newport University, where he was a student from January 2003 through Oct. 15, 2003.

He was a member of the football team from August 14 to Sept. 12, 2003, according to the CNU administration.

In a statement to WTVR, administration said that "federal student record privacy laws limit the information we can provide."

"Students don't usually leave in the second month of the semester or leave the football team within a month," the statement read.

The university is fully cooperating with law-enforcement agencies.

A former Liberty teammate, and the team's football captain William Haith told the  Daily Mail :

"He got into some trouble over sex with a girl. She made a complaint against him. He was put out of the football team because of the complaint. He was kicked out of the university as well."

Liberty would not say if Matthew was expelled. Non-marital sexual relations that would "undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University,"  are considered a violation of the personal code of honor. A student could be dismissed for non-marital sexual relations, according to their policy.

Doucette  is forwarding the reports to the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney.

Several of Matthew's friends and teammates said that he is a really nice, gentle guy, and possibly learning disabled.  Such descriptions don't match up with the charges.

“People just aren't willing to go on camera and say that other side because they are afraid of retribution,”said criminal defense attorney Scott Goodman.

Although Goodman said he doesn't know the details of the Liberty case, he said that today prosecutors would still move forward, regardless.

"This is the very thing that domestic violence cases now emphasize, don't jsut drop charges because a victim doesn't want to prosecute --you prosecute the case."