Saturday, November 18, 2017
Public safety

Sex offender accused of sexually assaulting woman in Pinellas Park

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PINELLAS PARK — A registered sex offender was arrested Friday on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman, police said.

About 10 a.m. Friday, a woman was raped in a home in Pinellas Park, police said. The victim's boyfriend confronted the man, identified by police as Joseph Lyle Mathews, but Mathews threatened him with a knife and ran away.

Mathews broke into a nearby home and stole a flashlight. Then he hid inside another house as Pinellas Park officers set up a perimeter and used police dogs to track him down, police said.

Moments later, police noticed that the side gate of a house was ajar. An officer entered the home and discovered Mathews, 42, on a couch, police said.

He resisted arrest and kicked an officer, police said. Officers restrained Mathews on the ground. Police believe he was under the influence of cocaine at the time.

Mathews was hospitalized for minor injuries to his face that he sustained during his arrest. On Saturday, he was taken to the Pinellas County jail.

Mathews faces charges of sexual battery, aggravated assault, armed burglary, resisting arrest and battery on an officer.

In 2006, he was sentenced to eight years in prison on a sexual activity with a minor conviction. He was released in 2011.

He remained at the jail Sunday in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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