Rape Suspect Cleared

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

August 7, 2005

Christopher Lynn Matthew has been in police custody since Saturday morning, charged with sexual assault. Today DNA evidence proved his innocence.

Matthews said he believed in his innocence the entire time he was in jail. That, along with his family's support got him through these last five trying days.

"I feel good. I got a chance to prove that I wasn't guilty," said Christopher Lynn Matthew.

Christopher Lynn Matthew shed the prison garb and reunited with his family today after five long days in jail.

"I knew he wasn't guilty because I know my son. He is not capable of doing things like that. He wouldn't do anything like that," said Matthew's mother Marian Matthew.

Matthew has been at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail since Saturday morning. He was arrested and charged with sexual assault stemming from an incident in the 200 block of Sunset Avenue. He was also investigated for his possible involvement as the serial rapist. The entire time, he professed his innocence.

"Keep in mind, I knew that I was going to go out because that was the truth. DNA doesn't lie, DNA tells everything," he said.

The DNA testing did come back in his favor. The state lab notified Charlottesville Police this afternoon that Matthew was not a suspect in this case or any other. He was released from jail a short time later but according to him, his name is damaged.

"They slandered my name. They made my image look terrible," he said.

Surrounded by family, Matthew says he has a future plan. But for now, his sister Casandra has one question for investigators.

"Chief Tim Longo, Chip Harding, [and] anyone else involved in this. How do they feel? That is the question," said Casandra Matthew.

That question is expected to be answered tomorrow. Numerous calls to the Charlottesville Police Department went unanswered this evening.

Charlottesville Police have scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference to discuss the details of the investigation.

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