WENATCHEE — A Wenatchee man suspected of raping a young girl is being held at the Chelan County jail on $500,000 bail.
Stephen J. Matthews is believed to have raped the girl between 2009 and 2012, and is also suspected of sharing child pornography online, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Chelan County Superior Court.
Matthews, 46, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of two counts of first-degree child rape, two counts of second-degree child rape and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The investigation began after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program delivered a report to the Wenatchee Police Department concerning pornographic images of children shared on a social network, the affidavit said.
Investigators found 46 images were linked to a profile with a Wenatchee IP address, which they believe belongs to Matthews. He’s suspected of sharing images with other site users on the site, the affidavit said.
The online social network supplied detectives with messages written under Matthews’ alleged profile in which the author claims to have had sexual contact or attempted to have sexual contact with a girl, the affidavit said.
Detectives found a 911 call regarding a sex offense in 2009 involving Stephens and a 10-year-old girl. At the time, the girl denied any sexual abuse committed by Matthews, the affidavit said.
Investigators re-contacted her in October. She said that she lied during her interview with police in 2009 because she was afraid of potential retaliation, the affidavit said.
The victim, now 21, told detectives she was raped by Matthews up to 150 times between the ages of 10 and 13, the affidavit said.
On Thursday, police were granted a search warrant to record a call between the victim and Matthews. Matthews did not admit to specific acts of sexual abuse, but apologized for things he’d done to her during a conversation about the alleged abuse, the affidavit said.
He was arrested later that day.
Matthews made a preliminary appearance Friday in Superior Court where bail was set at $500,000 bail. He’s being held at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.
Chelan County prosecutors have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file charges.
An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to Stephen J. Matthews as "Stephens." The story has been corrected.