Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man, 21, accused of raping unconscious teen girl on Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — A call came in Wednesday night about a couple having sex on Clearwater Beach.

But when officers responded just after 8:30 p.m. to the beach behind the Sandpearl Resort and Hotel, they found Michael Edward Mathews, 21, raping an unresponsive teenage girl, officials said.

Mathews, who is transient and originally from Canada, was arrested and charged with sexual battery.

Clearwater police spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said Mathews befriended the girl and her friend, both of whom are 16 or under.

He bought them alcohol Wednesday, she said, and they drank it.

What happened next wasn't immediately clear.

Officers arrived to find Mathews on top of the victim, police said. The second girl was nowhere to be found.

When officers ordered Mathews to get up, he complied, but the girl did not move. As officers tried to wake her, she simply lay there, motionless on the sand, police said.

"She was passed out," Castelli said.

Officer James Frederick continued to try to wake the teen, but got no response. He tried to ask her name, age, where she lives — silence.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for alcohol poisoning, Castelli said.

Mathews told officers he wasn't sure if the girl consented to have sex with him prior to the act, according to an arrest report. He said he "was trying to get the victim to wake up by biting her, but she would not react," the report states.

According to state records, Mathews was arrested three weeks ago on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.

On Thursday, he remained in custody at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond Thursday.

An investigation into Wednesday's incident is ongoing.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4155.

Man, 21, accused of raping unconscious teen girl on Clearwater Beach 06/14/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 14, 2012 8:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues


    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  2. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  3. Hudson man, 19, killed by hit-and-run driver while walking in street, FHP says


    A 19-year-old Hudson man walking in the street Friday night was struck and killed by a pickup truck that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Road Ranger hurt after truck catches fire in crash at I-275, Busch


    TAMPA — A Road Ranger was seriously injured when a drunk driver ran into the back of his truck on Interstate 275 and both vehicles burst into flame, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    Brian Nelson Barrett, 42, of Wimauma, was headed north on I-275 in his Road Ranger truck Saturday morning 10/21/17 when a car hit him from behind, causing both vehicles to erupt in flames.
  5. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight