FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A woman who authorities say was sexually assaulted by the same man charged with killing a University of Virginia student came face to face with the man in a Fairfax courtroom.
The encounter was brief, and the woman’s testimony was focused on a narrow legal question. But it provided a preview of the courtroom drama expected next week, when a jury trial will begin for 33-year-old Jesse Matthew.
Matthew, of Charlottesville, is charged in Fairfax with abducting and sexually assaulting the woman who testified at Thursday’s pretrial hearing.
The hearing was to determine whether the woman’s ability to identify Matthew as her attacker had been corrupted by pretrial publicity in which Matthew’s face has been shown repeatedly.
The woman testified that she had seen one picture of him, and that he looked familiar. The judge rejected a defense request that she be barred from telling the jury that she recognizes Matthew.