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Local man found guilty of felony sex crimes

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

A Vandalia man faces a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of three sex offenses.

A Fayette County jury found Johnathan L. Matthews guilty of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count aggravated criminal sexual abuse at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial.

The jury deliberated 90 minutes before returning the verdicts early Wednesday evening.

Matthews, 20, was charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February of this year. The charges alleged that the offenses occurred between April 1 and December 27 of last year.

Fayette County States Attorney Stephen Friedel filed a second count of predatory criminal sexual assault on May 15. That charge also covered the period of April 1-Dec. 27 of last year.

Friedel said the victim in the Matthews case was a 7-year-old female.

Predatory criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Friedel said that while Matthews could not receive consecutive sentences for the two counts of Class X offenses, a judge could issue consecutive sentences for one of the Class X felonies and the Class 2 offense.

Matthews sentencing hearing has been set for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22.