Evidence leads to indictment in rapes

Staff Report

Evidence collected four years ago led to the indictment of Matthew Westley, 20, in two rapes, District Attorney Tony Falterman said May 27.

Westley, of Donaldsonville, was arrested  Tuesday after being indicted by a parish Grand Jury on numerous charges including aggravated rape and battery and is in Ascension Parish Prison with his bond set at $225,000.

Westley awaits a June 17 arraignment before Judge A.J. Kling Jr. in 23rd Judicial District Court.

Westley is booked with two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of simple robbery and one count of aggravated second-degree battery, Falterman said.

Westley is nearing the end of a three-year prison sentence in connection with a September 2005 aggravated battery and second-degree battery, according to court records.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Westley pleaded guilty in March 2006 to the battery charges and was given credit for time already served in prison, making him due for release this fall.

On March 25, an Ascension Parish grand jury indicted Westley on the new allegations, according to Falterman.

The indictments stemmed from an Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office investigation of a series of rapes that occurred during the summer 2004 in Donaldsonville, Falterman said.

DNA evidence collected and submitted to the State Police Crime Laboratory led detectives to Westley, Falterman said.

In an indictment filed with the Ascension Parish Clerk of Court's Office, the grand jury accuses Westley in the rapes of a 45-year-old woman on July 19, 2004, and a 47-year-old woman on Aug. 6, 2004.

The same grand jury concluded the suspect also allegedly attacked the 45-year-old victim with a knife on the same date as the rape.

Westley also allegedly robbed the same two victims in early August.

Although Westley was 16 at the time of the crimes, he will be tried as an adult, Falterman said.

On May 20, Kling transferred the case to adult court following a motion filed by prosecutors.

In the motion, the state asserts that Westley was months away from turning 17 when the crimes occurred, has a history of delinquency and would commit other crimes upon his release, records state.

Westley had been in state Department of Corrections custody, housed at Caldwell Correctional Center in Grayson