A man from Monongahela Township who is waiting to go on trial for allegedly raping a preteen girl over two years ago has been accused of raping another girl during that time.
Additional child rape charges were filed last week by state police against Matthew S. Perry, age 40, of 197 Hartley Road, after the second girl made charges against him. The girl had come forward in June 2017, during an initial investigation into the first allegations conducted by troopers.
According to court documents, the girl told police of multiple incidents of rape and fondling when she was 10 years old, performed by Perry.
On Friday, police charged Perry with felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, felony rape of a child, felony child endangerment, felony aggravated indecent assault of a child, felony corruption of minors, and misdemeanor indecent assault of a child.
The new charges come almost 2 years after Perry was accused by state police of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl. Originally, Perry was charged in June 2017. The girl who accused him told investigators that the assaults happened between the summer of 2016 and March 2017. She was assaulted several times, including once in a wooded area in Perry's parked vehicle. He was arrested by US marshals, who found him hiding in Morgantown, West Virginia near a mosque, two months later.
Perry was deemed incompetent to stand trial after his arrest. He was taken to Torrance State Hospital near Blairsville to receive treatment. Last September, Greene County Judge Lou Dayich signed an order that declared Perry competent to face those charges. The case was scheduled for trial earlier this year. Jury selection is tentatively scheduled for March 6. Those proceedings have been delayed many times already because of additional concerns that have been raised about Perry's competency.
Cheyenna Perry, age 36 and wife of Matthew Perry, pled guilty to manufacturing child pornography on December 12. She had produced the pornography with one of the girls and then sent it to her husband while he was on the run from authorities for two months. She was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in the state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life. Her sentence was the result of a plea deal, which also requires her to testify against her husband at his trial.
Matthew Perry is in the Greene County jail, held without bond. His preliminary hearing on the new charges is scheduled for January 30 at 2 PM. He will stand before District Judge Lee Watson.
Offenses against children are always taken very seriously, especially when it involves sexual abuse. The penalties are harsh and leave a person with lifelong consequences. Jail time is possibly the least harsh consequence. If convicted, Perry will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. He’ll also be faced with difficulty in finding future employment. No one wants to hire a rapist, especially not a child rapist.
I don’t know all the facts of this particular case, but I have experience with similar ones. There are strategies Mr. Perry’s attorney can use to defend him, things like examining the expertise of the person who conducted the forensic interview. The credibility of the witnesses can be called into question, especially given the ages of the girls involved and the timeline. The type of touches can also be called into question. Perhaps the girls took them as inappropriate when Perry did not intend for them to be so. The identification of Perry as the perpetrator can also be called into question, depending on the methods used to identify him.
Defending Mr. Perry won’t be easy, though, especially given the fact that he now faces allegations from two separate girls. And, of course, given the fact that the media has gotten wind of the story. I hope Mr. Perry chooses his attorney wisely.