Law Enforcement

Matthew Moore pleads guilty in violent rapes of multiple women

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — In a twist, the trial of an Alabama corrections officer accused of raping two women was suddenly cut short when the accused pleaded guilty to the chilling crimes.

Prosecutors were only three days into trial and had only just begun to hear testimony from investigators and one of the victims when trial abruptly came to an end when Matthew Moore, 50, accepted a non-negotiated guilty plea.

According to the facts of the case presented by prosecutors, Moore was an Alabama corrections officer when he met an Atlanta woman online in 2010. The two agreed to meet in person at a Sandy Springs hotel for an erotic massage.

Officials said Moore told the victim he was a police officer, and flashing a badge, gun and pepper spray at her before he reportedly forced her to perform sex acts on him while his gun was on the bed. After the assault, prosecutors said Moore wiped himself with a napkin, got dressed and left the hotel. The victim called 911, and she was taken to the hospital for a sexual assault exam. Investigators, meanwhile, collected the napkin as evidence.

Matthew Moore

WXIA

But, five years later, prosecutors said Moore attacked again – this time even more violently than the first.

Prosecutors said Moore met his next victim in a similar way to his first – online, with the promise of an erotic massage.

Police said the woman agreed to meet Moore at another hotel in Sandy Springs on the night of Nov. 17, 2015. When he arrived, investigators said he flashed a gun and a knife at the victim and uttered these chilling words: “You’re going to do everything I say tonight, or I’ll be the last person you see.”

After that, prosecutors said Moore used his knife to remove the victim’s clothes and pulled out his cellphone to record the violence that followed: He used pantyhose and zip ties to restrain her arms behind her back, then proceeded to sexually assault the woman for more than 40 minutes.

The victim was able to escape, even as Moore reportedly chased her to continue the assault. The victim ran toward the hotel door screaming, which caught the attention of three men in the hallway. They saw the naked victim screaming for help and Moore – also naked – who followed behind.

But Moore pointed his gun at the men, forced them to get his cellphone from the bedside, then ran off. Meanwhile, the victim underwent a sexual assault exam while investigators collected evidence – including a pair of handcuffs inscribed with the name of the jail where Moore worked in Alabama.

A year-and-a-half later, in 2017, the results of the sex assault exams linked Moore to both violent crimes in Sandy Springs – and multiple other assaults in Alabama and Florida.

RELATED: Former corrections officer indicted for sexual assaults dating back 10 years

Investigators built their case and ultimately executed search warrants in March 2018 at Moore’s home and at his job. DNA collected from Moore proved to be a match, and further evidence – including pantyhose, zip ties, and cell phones – only bolstered their case. Investigators said they even found the disturbing video of the 2015 sexual assault still on Moore’s phone, three years later.

In court, detectives and two of the victims testified against Moore, and prosecutors re-played that violent assault. It proved to be enough to get Moore to cut short the trial and take a guilty plea.

RELATED: Testimonies begin for former corrections officer accused of sexual assault, rape

“We had already presented the first victim, and he seemed to be confident still, that the jurors would acquit him,” explained Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. “But after the second victim testified, and the video tape was played – as I understand it – several of the jurors openly wept when they heard and saw what was on the video tape. After that, he conferred with this attorney and he plead to the entire indictment.”

As a result, Moore was convicted of rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, impersonating an officer, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated assault. If Moore had not pleaded guilty, he would have faced life in prison. But because of the plea, a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison, with life on probation.

However, Howard cautioned that there could be more victims, and asked them to come forward.

“One of the awful things we see is that some of the victims express to us hopelessness after they’ve been assaulted – hat nothing will be done,” Howard said. “And we’re here to say that we will do something if you come in and make a report.”

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