Arizona man who fled 1976 rape trial sent back to New York

An Arizona man who fled New York now will face incarcerate period for criminal acts committed 40 years ago.

Todd Matus, who were reportedly jumped bail during his rape trial on Long Island, was captured after he applied for Social security systems benefits employing the name of an acquaintance who had died in 2005, New York authorities said.

Matus was convicted in absentia of rape and sodomy in 1976 and now will be sentenced to five to 15 years in a New York country prison for that crime, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said at a news conference on Friday.

According to tribunal documents, a then-2 1-year-old Matus attacked an 18 -year-old woman in a wooded region on Long Island in 1975. A spokesman for the district attorneys office used to say woman has expressed interest in devoting a victims impact statement when Matus, who is now 62, is sentenced on July 7.


Matus was arraigned Thursday in Suffolk County Court on a charge of bail-jumping and was remanded, pending sentencing. He was represented by an lawyer from Legal Aid, which has a policy of not commenting on pending cases.

Matus was returned to New York this week after being arrested last autumn while living in Flagstaff, Arizona. He served about nine months in jail there on forgery and identity theft charges after being caught applying for Social security systems benefits under an assumed name. Authorities there turned him over to New York law enforcement when he completed his sentence.

Sini told circumstances of how Matus was able to elude capture for so long still are being investigated. He told authorities believe he spent some time in Vermont, Nevada and Hawaii, but had lived in Arizona for much of the past 40 years. He was believed to have worked in the real estate field, Sini said.

Whats amazing about this story is the fact that he was a fugitive living under an assumed name for more than 40 years and then he had the gall to apply for Social security systems benefits, Sini told. I dont know what type of individual it takes to induce that decision obviously the type of someone who raped and sodomized an 18 -year-old in the woods and beat that person.

The Associated press contributed to this report.

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