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Colorado cardiologist charged in sexual assault case named by 9 other women he met on dating app Hinge


A Colorado cardiologist accused of drugging and assaulting a woman he met on a dating app this year has been linked to several other alleged drugs and assaults.

Dr Stephen Matthews, 35, was charged in March with sexual assault after a woman he met in January on a dating app, Hinge, filed a police report, it was reported at the time Denver’s NBC affiliate KUSA. Since then, nine other women have brought charges against Matthews, the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged Matthews with nine sexual assault charges and seven second-degree assault charges.

The first woman to come forward, who has not been publicly named, said she went on a date for breakfast and mimosas with Matthews on January 29, according to the arrest warrant released on Tuesday. Matthews reportedly invited the woman to his home, where they played Jenga and got into a hot tub.

She told investigators she started feeling unwell after Matthews gave her a drink, according to the warrant.

“Her next memory is being at her house and talking to paramedics,” the warrant said. “She had no recollection between about noon and about 9:40 p.m. She had no idea how she got home.”

The woman learned she had brought a car home at 3:40 p.m. and phoned her sister and a friend, who both went to her home to check on her and her mother, the warrant said. . Her sister found her in the shower in her underwear acting erratically and called for help.

The woman underwent a sexual assault exam the next morning and spoke to the Denver police sex crimes unit to file a report the following week, the warrant said.

Matthews told investigators in February that the sex between them was consensual but that she fell ill after the fact and drove home a car, according to the warrant.

Less than a week after Matthews’ arrest in March, investigators received a call from a woman who said she met Matthews on Hinge in January and met him at a bar, according to the warrant. She said the pair returned to Matthews’ after having a drink at the bar and felt “unbalanced” after he made her a tequila soda.

According to the warrant, she told authorities she remembered kissing him and “passed out,” with little memory of the rest of the night.

“She took an Uber home and became seriously ill,” the warrant said. “She said she believed Dr Matthews sexually assaulted her but had no recollection.”

Another woman, who said she met Matthews in October 2019, claims he invited her to his house after brunch to use his hot tub. She told police ‘things got very fuzzy’ after Matthews gave her a drink, but she remembered throwing up in her bathroom.

“She then remembers being in his apartment with him, but not how they got there,” the warrant said. “She went to bed and woke up to Dr. Matthews having sex with her.”

Matthews sent photos of herself naked in the hot tub after she told him she wouldn’t see him again weeks later, according to the warrant.

All but one of the women who spoke to Denver police said they met Matthews on dating apps, either Hinge or Tinder, from October through February.

Some women said they played Jenga with Matthews or went to his hot tub, but felt bad after he made or bought drinks for them, according to the warrant. A woman refused a drink from Matthews at his house and left after feeling uncomfortable with him getting “touchy” with her.

“She said she realized later that it was the same person who sexually assaulted her friend … about three years ago,” the warrant said.

The only woman who did not meet Matthews on a dating app, according to the warrant, had gone to his house to get a housekeeper key for him.

They went to a restaurant where, she says, she believes he offered her a drink and she began to feel unwell, the warrant said. She called her roommate to drive her home and was not sexually assaulted, but believes Matthews drugged her, he said.

In a statement to NBC News on Thursday, Matthews’ attorney Douglas Cohen said the charges did not constitute evidence.

“Like all of us in our great nation, my client is presumed innocent,” Cohen said. “We must be careful in any case not to treat this phrase as a tired cliché or a catchy book title. It is the bedrock of our justice system which holds sacred liberty for all.”

Matthews has a hearing scheduled for next week, and inmate records show he was held in a Denver detention center on Monday without “authorized bail.” The facility could not be reached for comment by phone Thursday, and Cohen declined to say whether his client was in custody.

Matthews previously had privileges at a Centura Health hospital, but was an independent provider. It no longer has access to patients or medical system facilities, Centura Health said in a statement.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.