Testimony begins in 2005 Fairfax rape case; Jesse Matthew pleads not guilty

Jesse Matthew, Jr.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) —  A jury has been seated for Jesse Matthew’s trial about an alleged rape. Jury selection began Monday morning.

Matthew was given the option to stand trial with or without a jury and chose a jury trial. At least 50 potential jurors were brought in originally. After lengthy rounds of questioning from the prosecution and defense, all but a few were left and the jury was seated.

Seven women and seven men are on the jury. Two of them are alternates.

The alleged victim in the 2005 rape flew from India to testify against Matthew in the trial. She took the stand after 3 p.m. on Monday.

The victim testified that the suspect approached her and began asking her questions, likely about directions. After that, the victim said the suspect walked up behind her, picked her up and took her to a dark area. She began to cry as she recounted the sexual assault. She said she “knew it was going to be a losing battle.” The victim went on to say she believes she lost consciousness at some point. She didn’t realize her pants were down when she came to.

Prosecutors showed a graphic photo of the victim.

The witness testified that the victim wasn’t wearing any pants and said the woman looked like “she was barely alive.”

In the Fairfax case, Matthew is charged with attempted capital murder, abduction and sexual assault in connection with a 2005 attack on a woman. The indictment claims Matthew “did feloniously, willfully, deliberately, intentionally and with premeditation attempt to kill [the victim] in the commission of or subsequent to an abduction with the intent to defile.”

Matthew pleaded not guilty to all three counts against him. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Matthew is also charged in the death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. He could face the death penalty in that case if found guilty.

The Fairfax trial is expected to last 9 days. 8News will be in the courtroom bringing you the latest updates.

Stay with 8News for continuing coverage on this developing story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s