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Published: Wednesday, 1/9/2013

Deputy is indicted on 13 sex charges

TIFFIN - A Seneca County sheriff's deputy who has admitted to being a pedophile has been indicted on 13 criminal charges, including rape and gross sexual imposition.

Dale Matthews appeared in court Friday on two counts of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition, four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, four counts of illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, and one count of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Mr. Matthews, 37, of Tiffin, remained at the Crawford County jail yesterday in lieu of a $100,000 bond. An arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 23 in Seneca County Common Pleas Court.

The corrections officer, who volunteered as a troop leader for the Tiffin Rangers, faces charges involving a total of four male victims, according to the indictment. The court record does not provide ages of those victims.

The defendant's attorney, Dean Henry, said yesterday that he does not believe the rape charges involved juveniles. He said his client will plead not guilty to all counts.

“Thirteen counts is kind of surprising,” Mr. Henry said. “But it didn't shock me. [The prosecutor's office] is known for over-charging.”

The rape charges stem from oral sex with the same male from March to November, 1995. The indictment indicates that the victim's “ability to resist or consent was substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition.”

The gross sexual imposition charges pertain to the same time period, with the same victim.

The remaining counts against Mr. Matthews range from Jan. 1, 1998, to the time he was charged last year. Most of those counts involve juvenile victims.

County Prosecutor Ken Egbert could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The indictment was prompted from an investigation conducted by the prosecutor's office and the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

Mr. Matthews was slapped with his first criminal charge, a second-degree felony for pandering sexually oriented material, on Dec. 2 when investigators seized from his home more than 50 items, including video equipment, pornographic videos, and photographs of nude boys.

In a transcript of one of the videos presented as evidence in court, Mr. Matthews said he liked “young boys.”

The narration continued with Mr. Matthews saying: “As a matter of fact, I think I may be a pedophile,” according to court documents.

A Seneca County sheriff's deputy since 1994, Mr. Matthews began his duties as a troop leader for the Tiffin Rangers about five years ago. The youth group has about 50 members and owns Camp Hertzer, a 40-acre wooded site used for campouts and overnights.

The allegations against Mr. Matthews surfaced Sept. 12, when a Tiffin mother told police that Mr. Matthews took photos of her son's buttocks when the boy was staying at Mr. Matthews's home.



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