Rape case against St. Mary's coach gets dropped

The rape case against a former St. Mary's School coach has been dismissed by Jackson County prosecutors.

The charges against Victor E. Matoush were dropped Wednesday after the state obtained new evidence Tuesday that was turned over to Matoush's defense attorney.

A 38-year-old woman had accused Matoush, 40, of tying up and raping her at the end of a consensual sex encounter in June 2007, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

New evidence led prosecutors to drop the charges because they felt they "could not sustain a successful prosecution," said Deputy District Attorney Rachel Bridges.

"I discovered exculpatory evidence that I had to turn over to the defense and we decided to dismiss the case," Bridges said.

Matoush's attorney, David Terry, said his client and the woman had known each other for more than a dozen years and were having a consensual sexual relationship for six months before the June incident. Terry said the woman had told Matoush she wanted to engage in sexual bondage.

When police later phoned Matoush regarding the woman's claim, he admitted to handcuffing her. He said he thought she was a willing participant and apologized for his actions, according to court records.

Matoush was arraigned on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sex abuse and coercion in July 2007. He was released from Jackson County Jail a few days after his arrest when he posted 10 percent of his $250,000 bail.

The woman has been notified about the state's dismissal, Bridges said.

"She is aware the state could not successfully prosecute this case," Bridges said.

Matoush, a graduate of Ashland High School and Southern Oregon University, served as girls varsity basketball coach at St. Mary's for three years until March 2007. In June of 2007, he was hired as girls basketball coach for South Salem High School, but his employment ended after the arrest a month later.

Matoush now resides in California. He did not return calls to the Mail Tribune Thursday.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain was expected to sign the formal order dismissing the charges against Matoush on Thursday, Bridges said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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