Two of Matthew Kotson's alleged victims established a pattern of his sexually aggressive behavior toward woman, and a judge ruled Thursday their testimony is admissible in the former Wheeling police officer's upcoming trial.
Kotson's trial on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse on one alleged victim is scheduled for Sept. 4. He will face the allegations of his two other accusers during separate trials at later dates.
The first alleged victim to testify Thursday said she and Kotson were involved in a tumultuous relationship for nearly two years.
Photo by Tyler Reynard
Former Wheeling police officer Matthew Kotson, right, listens to testimony as defense attorney Robert McCoid takes notes in Ohio County Circuit Court on Thursday.
Kotson's "drinking was always a problem," she said. "Going out ... we fought about that. The late nights - coming in late, being drunk - that made it very hard to keep a stable relationship."
She said the first time he sexually abused her was at her home.
"He pushed his body up against mine so I was pushed up against the counter top, and he started to place his hands down my pants, trying to touch me," she said. "I kept telling him, 'What are you doing? Don't do that. Please stop,' ... and he got mad because I wouldn't let him touch me."
She recounted another incident in which Kotson allegedly sexually abused her on her living room couch. He continually attempted to put his hands up her shirt and pull down her pants, she said, all while her young children were in the room.
"I kept telling him to stop, that the children could see him and I didn't want him to do that," she said. "I kept telling him, 'No,' and he kept proceeding to try."
The second alleged victim accused Kotson of sexually assaulting her one year after they began dating. She said she continued to see him romantically on and off for a year following the first alleged assault, however. The relationship ended when Kotson assaulted her multiple times in May 2011, she said.
"I'm telling him to stop the whole time and I'm crying," she said of one of the alleged assaults.
Recht said the testimony of both alleged victims demonstrated that Kotson "has a propensity of forcing himself upon another when he has been told that person does not want to be forced upon."
Those alleged victims, however, also admitted they submitted to Kotson's sexual advances on previous occasions, although they said they were not initially willing. One of the women said they engaged in consensual sex with Kotson in an effort to reconcile the relationship. Both women also said they suspected Kotson of infidelity at points during their respective relationships with him.
A third woman testified that while Kotson made unsolicited sexual advances toward her one night at her home, he never become aggressive or committed a crime.
She said he continually tried to kiss her while the two were seated on her couch before she became upset and drove him home.
"He was persistent, but he was never aggressive or forceful," she said. "He never held me down, he never used force or violence. He never raised his voice, but he was persistent."
Neither of the alleged victims to testify Thursday reported Kotson's actions to law enforcement. A third alleged victim made accusations to West Virginia State Police, who subsequently launched an investigation and interviewed the other women.