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Anthony Matthews admits to Ybor City rape in court Thursday

6:04 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, FL -- Prosecutors say 31-year-old Anthony Matthews has confessed to repeatedly raping a woman in the backseat of a parked car in Ybor City last month.

Matthews appeared in Hillsborough County Court Thursday morning. He is charged with carjacking, kidnapping and 4-counts of sexual battery.

Police say Matthews dove through the driver's side window of his victim's car the evening of December 22nd after the woman had just gotten into her vehicle. The attack happened in the 1300-block of East 8th Avenue.

"He pushed her to the floor board of the front passenger seat, telling her he would kill her if she yelled or screamed," a prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office told the judge presiding over Matthews' initial appearance.

DNA was used to help identify Matthews.  He was arrested on New Year's Eve.

Despite being on the loose for nine days, police never sent out an alert notifying the public about the attack. It's a decision some have criticized, but a police spokesperson on Thursday said the Chief is comfortable with the decision- noting the bottom line is Matthews is now behind bars.

"When you're talking about releasing information to the public about a crime, it's a balancing act and there's no exact science to when you release something and when you don't," said TPD Spokesperson Andrea Davis.

If convicted on all charges, Matthews could get life in prison. He is currently being held in the county jail without bond.


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