Local man is guilty  in assault of girl, 14

Posted: August 24, 2013

The Winchester Star

Matthew Bell

WINCHESTER — A Stephens City man charged with raping a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty on Friday to aggravated sexual battery.


Matthew Bell, 20, of the 100 block of Dickenson Court appeared in Frederick County Circuit Court with attorney N. Randolph Bryant.


He was charged with rape, carnal knowledge, forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery, but pleaded guilty only to the latter as part of a plea agreement.


Judge Clifford “Clay” Athey approved the agreement and sentenced Bell to 10 years in prison, with nine years suspended.


He also was assessed with a $100 fine and must serve five years on supervised probation, have no contact with the victim, register as a sex offender and participate in sex offender counseling.


Bell, who was visibly emotional in court, said he realized that the victim was near the age of his sister, and that this put things in perspective.


“I just want to apologize,” he said as he began to cry.


According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Bell met with the 14-year-old Frederick County girl at her residence at about 1 a.m. on Jan. 19, and they had oral sex and intercourse.


Prosecutor Fahnda W. Hashish said on Friday that Bell bit the girl’s breast, and that she complained about the pain and asked him to stop.


She said he eventually did and was asked to leave.

According to a transcript from a prior hearing in Frederick County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Bell and the victim had a Facebook conversation about “hooking up” before the incident.


Bell and another man met the victim and one of her friends at her home and entered through a window.


The victim said in the transcript that she changed her mind and told Bell to stop when he began treating her roughly.


— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com