Jesse Matthew pleads not guilty to charges in 2005 Fairfax rape case

FAIRFAX, VA (WWBT) - The man accused of abducting UVA student Hannah Graham appeared in Fairfax court Friday on separate rape charges from 2005. Now, questions are being raised from a local sheriff over whether Virginia could've done more to prevent that attack.

The prosecutor in this case is speaking out about how the alleged victim is doing - although she's not even in the country. Friday was Jesse Matthew's first physical appearance in a Virginia courtroom for the recent charges against him.

Wearing a green jail suit, Jesse Matthew pleads not guilty to attempted capital murder, abduction, and the sexual assault of a Fairfax woman - one who investigators say is keeping up with these latest developments from her home in India.

"I am grateful to her for her continued cooperation. A lot of people would say 'Hey, I'm done with this. I'm going to walk away," said Fairfax prosecutor Ray Morrogh.

He says good police work pointed them straight to their suspect.

"It really was a sterling example of how to do an investigation. Everything was collected properly, preserved properly. Det. Mike Boone kept in touch with the victim all these years," Morrogh added.

Friday, a judge allotted eight days for both sides to make their case at trial, beginning March 9th.

It comes as Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding wants to see Virginia start collecting the DNA of anyone convicted of a crime.

"The average felon in NY state, and human beings are human beings I don't care what state you're in, they have three misdemeanor convictions prior to their first felony," Harding said.

Right now, DNA is collected largely from felons. But since a 2010 trespassing conviction involving Matthew was only a misdemeanor, his DNA wasn't put in the system. Sheriff Harding suggests having that sample on file could have made Matthew a suspect in the 2005 assault years ago.

"Why do we wait and let a Jesse Matthew for example commit a misdemeanor and not collect his DNA if he is, and he's certainly innocent until proven guilty, if he's out and he's a serial predator attacking our citizens," Harding said.

Initially, prosecutors said they were prepared to try this case as early as February. But Matthew's defense decided to waive the right to a speedy trial, postponing it by a month.

Jesse Matthew appeared in a Fairfax courtroom around 9 a.m. A grand jury returned indictments against Matthew last month on three counts: attempted capital murder, abduction and sexual penetration with an object.


Court records show DNA from the victim's fingernails provided a

. The odds are 1 in more than 7.2 billion that the DNA might not belong to Matthew. DNA also linked Matthew to the 2009 death of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.

Matthew also has a court hearing in December in connection to the Hannah Graham case.

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