Area pair charged with molestation |

Area pair charged with molestation

In unrelated cases, two Nevada County men are facing felony charges for allegedly molesting children – one as young as 4 – in 2003.

In the most recent arrest, 48-year-old John Crawford turned himself in to authorities on Dec. 30 after his wife confronted him about the allegations.

In the other case, Stephen L. Matthias is charged with molesting a 4-year-old.

Crawford is accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl over several weeks in June and July 2003, according to the Grass Valley Police Department.

Police Capt. Greg Hart said Crawford turned himself in at the police department’s lobby on Dec. 30. After he was interviewed, officers took him into custody. He now faces five counts of lewd or lascivious conduct with a minor.

“He admitted to sexual conduct between himself and an underage (girl),” Hart said.

Crawford committed a variety of sexually related offenses, according to the police department.

Hart said Crawford came forward more than one year after the alleged crimes because he had had an argument with the victim. After the argument, the victim spoke to Crawford’s wife and told him what had happened. Crawford’s wife confronted Crawford, and he agreed to speak with police.

Crawford’s bail has been set at $100,000. He is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday.

Stephen Matthias is alleged to have molested a 4-year-old on at least two occasions in October and December 2003.

He has recently pleaded innocent to one count of committing lewd or lascivious acts on a minor.

The mother of the victim initially reported the alleged crime in November 2003, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said.

“At that time, there was insufficient information to make an arrest,” he said.

Last August, the mother made a second report, Royal said.

“Based on this additional information, an arrest warrant was issued and the suspect was arrested,” Royal said.

Matthias will next appear in court on Feb. 10.

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