August 15, 2007
A Charlottesville man once suspected, and then cleared of being a serial rapist, speaks out about the arrest of another man in connection with that case.
Two years ago, DNA results cleared Matthew of any wrong-doing and helped convict another man of the crime.
In Matthew’s case, the victim mistakenly identified him as her attacker. Matthew spent five days in jail watching reports accuse him of being the serial rapist.
“I can't believe they are saying they got the serial rapist when I am giving them my DNA to say they picked up the wrong guy,” said Matthew.
Seeing recent news coverage of Nathan Antonio Washington’s arrest as the suspected serial rapist gave him an uneasy feeling.
“I was thinking if he did it then basically he deserves what happens to him, but if he didn't do it, then you know, basically he went through what I went through and that's not a good feeling,” said Matthew.
Matthews said he knew DNA would prove his innocence. In the “Back of my mind I knew I was going to be okay; I knew I did nothing wrong. DNA don’t lie,” he said.
“If we didn't have DNA recoverable he'd probably be in prison now,” said Matthew’s Attorney Debbie Wyatt.
Wyatt is representing Matthew in a civil suit against the city.
In the case of Tony Washington investigators can't say whether DNA resulted in his arrest. Sealed court records have prevented police from revealing exactly what evidence led them to charge him with just two of the seven sexual assaults, linked to the Charlottesville serial rapist through DNA.
“Because those affidavits and the probable cause contained in the affidavits are sealed we can't speak to the evidence. We can't even respond to those questions,” said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.
It’s possible that we will get those questions answered on Thursday when Washington appears in court for a bond hearing. He has been held at the Regional Jail since his arrest on Monday.