A woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Jesse Matthew Jr. – almost a decade before he was charged in the abduction and murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham – says that she feared for her life when he allegedly grabbed her that fateful day.
“I felt helpless,” the victim, who is not being identified, testified Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
She added: “I was thinking, ‘This is going to be the end, keep screaming, keep screaming.’ I feared this is going to be the end of my life.”
Matthew, who was charged with attempted capital murder, abduction and sexual assault in connection with the 2005 attack, initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea on June 10, when he entered an Alford plea.
An Alford plea is when a defendant acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him without the defendant having to admit to the crime.
The victim testified as part of the sentencing phase. Matthew faces up to life in prison for the crime.
After the attack, the victim, who was 26 at the time of the assault, said she was “stuck in a vicious cycle of anger and self-hatred.”
As for the Graham case, which has not yet gone to trial, Matthew faces the death penalty after prosecutors charged him with capital murder in May.
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