Corvallis bedroom intruder sentenced to prison

A Corvallis man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he was caught spying on a neighbor who didn't know him.

He also spied on his roommates.

The case, which dates back to 2019, took a long time to resolve, partly because of the pandemic and partly because other previous cases, which could change how they would be judged, had to be decided first. adjusted.

The accusations

Charged in Benton County Court, Jonathan Strider Matthews, 33, faces 28 criminal allegations, including burglary and invasion of privacy, as well as physical harassment and criminal mischief.

“As the investigation continued, law enforcement discovered that Matthews was secretly breaking into (the victim's) apartment and recording her for weeks and recording her from outside the residence for nine months,” says a court document.

People also read…

We check back in with some of the people we've met on our travels and catch up with politicians who are trying to find solutions.

The document reflects the impact on the victim, saying their privacy, comfort and sense of security were stolen and their dignity destroyed.

“Even after four years, she still blacks out her windows, won't run and suffers from crippling anxiety,” the document states.

Authorities eventually found evidence dating back years showing that Matthews was secretly recording his three roommates and their friends in the bathroom of his home, the document states.

Matthew 1.png

Jonathan Matthews speaks with defense attorney Mike Flinn at the Benton County Courthouse after being sentenced to prison for burglary and invasion of privacy charges Monday.

Cody Mann

“When Mr. Matthews placed a camera in their shared bathroom and recorded them in their most private moments, he compromised their safety,” the document states.

Caught red-handed

Matthews was initially charged with burglary, criminal mischief and harassment after a woman confronted him at his home in June 2019. He was arrested by Corvallis police officers after breaking into the woman's apartment. victim in the 300 block of 12th Street Northwest.

The woman said she heard a noise upstairs when she returned home and when she went to investigate, she found a strange man in her bedroom staring at her closet, according to probable cause affidavits. The woman blocked Matthews' path when he tried to leave and demanded to see his ID.

Matthews gave an ID card, then tried to run away again, pushing the victim down his stairs as she continued to block him, according to an affidavit. A court document says Matthews tried unsuccessfully to get his ID card, but the woman screamed and he ran away.

He then tried to get back inside after she locked the door.

When police arrived, Matthews was standing outside the residence, sweating and breathing heavily, and several people identified him as the intruder in the woman's bedroom, an affidavit states.

Discovery camera

Court records show that the day after Matthews was arraigned on the initial charges, the prosecution added another burglary charge and an invasion of privacy charge, accusing Matthews of installing a hidden camera in the victim's bedroom during a previous break-in.

When he was arrested, police found on Matthews a battery of the type used to power spy cameras, and a search of the woman's bedroom revealed such a camera hidden in her closet, with the lens pointed at her lit, an affidavit states.

According to an affidavit, a small camera and corresponding battery were attached to the back of the closet door with a putty-like material, and there were pieces of dried putty on the wall nearby in the general outline of the battery that was in Matthews' possession when he was arrested.

“This appears to suggest that another battery was in place prior to the one currently powering the camera,” an affidavit states.

Matthew 2.png

Appearing for sentencing on burglary and invasion of privacy charges, Jonathan Matthews (left) stands with his attorney, Mike Flinn, in a Benton County courtroom on Monday, June 24, 2024.

Cody Mann

A court document describes the device this way: “It was small – slightly larger than the head of a pin – and black. The camera was barely visible from outside the closet. The camera was attached by a flat black wire – similar in appearance to rubber or silicone – to a small rectangular device containing a visible SD card. »

Police also found a plastic Subway restaurant card with bent and damaged edges on Matthews at the time of his arrest, according to an affidavit, which says an officer discovered pry marks near the door handle of his car. the victim's entrance which she claims were not there before she left the house that day.

“Based on the appearance of the pry marks, it appears that Matthews used the plastic metro card to gain entry to (the victim's) residence,” an affidavit states.

A search of Matthews' home, a search of his cellphone and a search of his hidden camera turned up evidence of additional crimes for which he was later charged, according to an affidavit, which said investigators found videos of the victim undressed in her bedroom. One of the videos shows Matthews masturbating on the woman's bed, the affidavit said.

Negotiations canceled

An indictment filed against Matthews in January 2020 identifies four other women whose privacy he invaded, dating back to 2016.

A sentencing memorandum filed by Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amie Matusko says the defense and prosecution negotiated a recommendation of probation, a year in prison and a 72-month suspended prison sentence — despite a preliminary hearing suggesting a “standard prison sentence” of three years.

At a sentencing hearing Monday, Judge Joan Demarest said she was uncomfortable with the suspended sentence and probation deal, saying that between delays due to the pandemic and changes in case law, Matthews had years to justify such a deal but was unsuccessful.

Demarest also said the deal was insufficient because it only sought to provide justice for a single victim. She cited a pre-investigation allegation that after his arrest, Matthews engaged in further criminal activity by accessing child sexual abuse materials.

Matthews pleaded guilty in December to six counts: first-degree burglary and five counts of invasion of privacy.

On Monday, Demarest sentenced him to four years in prison, five years of supervised probation, to register as a sex offender and to pay $3,769 in restitution and fines.

Matthews is currently being held at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, according to Department of Corrections records.

Related stories:

New charges for accused room invader

Alleged intruder arrested after woman asks to see ID

More local crime and public safety news

Cody Mann is responsible for public safety and justice in Linn and Benton counties. You can reach him at 541-812-6113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @News_Mann_.

Related Articles

Back to top button