Former Spyrock Man Pleads to Four Separate Counts of Lewd and Lascivious Acts on a Child Under 14
This is a press release from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:
A recidvist defendant, having listened first to the prosecutor’s opening statement to the jury outlining anticipated testimony and knowing that all of the prosecution’s witnesses were in the courthouse ready to testify, decided over the lunch break to cut his losses (overall prison exposure) by accepting a plea and sentence bargain that the prosecutor had placed on the table last Friday.
Matthew Thomas McCarthy, age 49, formerly of Westport, as well as the Spyrock area of Mendocino County, plead guilty this afternoon (before the jury returned to begin hearing testimony) to four separate felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, said crimes having been committed by the defendant against two separate then 13-year-old victims (two counts each) occurring in different years. The defendant also admitted the truth of his prior 2001 felony conviction for the same crime on yet a third victim, a young woman who was only 6 years of age at the time she was molested by the defendant.
As part of the plea and sentence bargain, the defendant accepted the DA’s take-it-or-leave-it offer of a stipulated sentence of 35 years to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Once the court was satisfied with the constitutionality of the change of plea, the defendant’s case was referred to the Adult Probation for a background study and report, an important document used by the CDCR for prison classification purposes when the defendant is received at San Quentin for intake and processing.
The agreed-upon state prison sentence will be formally pronounced at a sentencing hearing now set for March 9, 2018 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department H of the Ukiah courthouse. Any person interested in this defendant or the final disposition of this case is welcome to attend that hearing.
The prosecutor handling this case and what was expected to be a many-day trial is District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the DA’s own investigators. The judge who presided over yesterday’s jury selection process, today’s proceedings, and the judge who will pronounce sentence on March 9th is Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke.