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W.Va. man charged with assault

April 28, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Ranson, W.Va., man was charged Tuesday in connection with an incident last summer in which a woman was driven to a secluded area in a wildlife management area on the border between Berkeley and Morgan counties and sexually assaulted by two men, police said.

Matthew Ray Clark, 20, of 103 Stark Road, has been charged with first-degree sexual assault, unlawful assault and abduction of a person, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Clark was being held in the Eastern Regional Jail on Tuesday afternoon on $200,000 bond, a jail spokesman said.

On July 26 last year, a woman was transported to City Hospital for injuries, court records say. Cpl. W.A. Johnson, an investigator with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, went to the hospital to meet with the woman, who said she had been kidnapped and raped.

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The woman said she was walking along W.Va. 9 when two men offered her a ride home, court records say. It is not clear where on W.Va. 9 the men met up with the woman.

It is believed the two men were riding in a truck, Cpl. W.A. Johnson said in an affidavit filed in magistrate court.

Johnson said the men drove the woman to the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area, a public hunting and fishing area. The men battered the woman as they rode in the truck with her, Johnson said in the affidavit.

At the wildlife management area, the men forced her into some woods by pushing and hitting her, Johnson alleged.

The men sexually assaulted the woman, left her in the woods and left in the truck, Johnson alleged.

It is believed the two men were later involved in a car accident and were transported to City Hospital, Johnson said.

The woman later could not identify either man because of bandages and blood on their faces, Johnson said.

At one point during the investigation, Johnson made attempts to contact Clark, but it was discovered that he and the passenger had left their homes, court records say.

Clark was arraigned in Jefferson County on Tuesday, but details surrounding his arraignment and whether police are still looking for a second man were unavailable.

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