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Crime & Courts

St. Michael woman charged in ‘contract’ sexual assault of man

A St. Michael woman is accused of ordering the sexual assault of a man who owed her money for alcohol and marijuana.

The woman, 30-year-old Julia Haworth, told an acquaintance to carry out the April 2017 assault in exchange for "a bottle," according to motions filed by the Nome District Attorney's office.

The man accused of the assault is 24-year-old Austin Matthias, also of St. Michael.

The victim said the last thing he remembered that night was Matthias punching him in the face, according to a sworn affidavit. He woke up in severe pain.

An exam a few days later still revealed extensive trauma including a broken nose.

Nome Assistant District Attorney Tom Jamgochian on Monday said a "contract" sexual assault like the one alleged is highly unusual.

"I've never seen or heard of a case like this before," Jamgochian said. "It is unique."

Matthias was indicted last June on two felony counts of first-degree sexual assault by a Unalakleet grand jury. Haworth was indicted on a count of solicitation of sexual assault as well as a count of first-degree sexual assault.

Attorneys for Matthias and Haworth didn't return calls for comment Monday.

The next hearing in the case is set for May 17.

St. Michael is a village of about 400 people on Norton Sound 125 miles southeast of Nome. The sale and importation of alcohol is banned there.

A witness in the case told an Alaska state trooper he saw the sexual assault occur in the victim's residence, the motion states. The witness said Haworth "let" Matthias and the victim get drunk and then told Matthias, "Austin I'm going to need you to rape" the victim.

The witness told the trooper that Haworth said the victim owed her $15,000. Matthias replied to her commands "with a 'sure,' " the document says.

It's possible Matthias also owed Haworth money, prosecutors say in the motion. His ex-wife sent Haworth a check for $1,000 at his request, apparently believing it to be for a drug debt.

Haworth told the victim's girlfriend that he owed $17,000 "or maybe even" $27,000, according to an excerpt from one of the jailhouse letters Matthias wrote his ex-wife.

Both Haworth and Matthias remain jailed at Anvil Mountain.

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