Lewis Matthews dated the victim’s mother for several years before the attack in April 2019. Authorities say Matthews “undressed her and then proceeded to molest and sexually batter her,” as she slept in the living room of their Tampa-area home.
The child’s mother heard the commotion and made her way downstairs where she caught Mattews assaulting the girl. Immediately after, Mattews ordered the young girl and the other children at the home into his car. He drove to a nearby gas station where he took the victim into a restroom and forced her to undress again.
Matthews proceeded to pour bleach on the girl’s genitals in an effort to destroy evidence. However, “the defendant’s criminal attempt to destroy DNA evidence failed,” said the district attorney’s office.
Matthews was charged with multiple counts of sexual battery on a victim younger than 12, lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim younger than 12, and tampering with physical evidence. He stood trial and was found guilty on June 4.