Columbia man gets up to 70 years for rape, assault

Thomas M. Matthews (submitted)

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster County man could spend the rest of his life in prison for raping and beating a woman in 2015.

The district attorney’s office says 38-year-old Tomas M. Matthews was ordered to serve 33 to 70 years in prison.

Matthews, of Columbia, was found guilty in January of aggravated assault, sexual assault, and related charges. Prosecutors said he used a knife to threaten the woman while he beat and raped her in her home. The woman suffered a fractured nose and tail bone and was strangled until she lost consciousness.

The conviction was at least Matthews’ third for crimes of violence. Prosecutors said he has out-of-state convictions for kidnapping, robbery and aggravated assault on a police officer.

He also has a pending aggravated assault case for the April 3 beating of a Lancaster County Prison inmate.

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