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The man suspected in the disappearance of missing University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham was accused, but not charged, in two sexual assaults at different colleges more than a decade ago. Jesse Matthew, 32, attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, from 2000 to 2002, followed by Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, from January 2003 to October 2003. He was on the football team at both schools and left each not long after being investigated for sexual assault at each college.
Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Doucette had told NBC News last week that Matthew was questioned in connection with a sexual assault in 2002 when he was a student at Liberty but that charges were not filed against him because the alleged victim did not want to proceed with the case. New revelations that Matthew was then accused of another sexual assault, this one at Christopher Newport, just 11 months later came to light Wednesday.
"Christopher Newport University confirms that Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. attended the University from January 2003 through Oct. 15, 2003. He was a member of the football team from Aug. 14 to Sept. 12, 2003. Students don't usually leave in the second month of the semester or leave the football team within a month," Lori Jacobs, director of public relations for Christopher Newport, said in a statement.
She confirmed that a sexual assault had been reported on campus five days earlier on Sept. 7, 2003, but said federal student record privacy laws "limit the information we can provide."
A spokesperson for the Newport News police department said that Christopher Newport has its own police department, so if charges had been filed, they would have been through the university — but she added that Matthew's name was not in the university's system. A call to the commonwealth's attorney's office for Newport News was not immediately returned.
Graham has been missing since Sept. 13.
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