The Times West Virginian

Local News

November 2, 2013

County man sentenced to 250-1,000 years

For sexual abuse, assault involving minor

FAIRMONT — A Marion County man was sentenced to 250-1,000 years in prison Friday for 10 counts of sexual abuse and 10 counts of sexual assault, all involving a minor.

Matthew Monroe Cottingham, 28, of Fairmont, was sentenced by Marion Circuit Judge David R. Janes.

Cottingham was sentenced to 25 to 100 years for each of 10 counts of sexual assault on a minor and 10 to 25 years for each of 10 counts of sexual assault by a parent, guardian or custodian.

He will serve the sentences for sexual assault consecutively and the sentences for sexual abuse concurrently, said Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Wilson.

Wilson said it was indicated to him that Cottingham would file an appeal.

“The sentences of 25-100 years are indeterminate,” Wilson said.

“He would have to do 25 years on each count before he’d be eligible for parole.”

Cottingham had been first arrested in late July 2012 by Fairmont police. According to criminal complaints, he forcibly had sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl.

The girl allegedly told her mother the next day, and statements by the victim and physical evidence observed at Fairmont General Hospital were reportedly consistent with the allegations.

Cottingham was arrested and his bail was set at $500,000 cash only. He was indicted on Oct. 10, 2012.

Child Protective Services continued to investigate the incident since the initial arrest. A second child, a 9-year-old girl, alleged that Cottingham had perpetrated “several sexual assaults ... dating back years prior to his arrest to CPS officials.”

“These were detailed accounts,” the complaint says.

Cottingham’s bond then was set at $100,000 for each charge, $500,000 total.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.

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