Matt Hickey has pleaded not guilty to four charges of second degree rape.
Counting the new charge, Matt Hickey has now pleaded not guilty to four charges of second degree rape. Jason Redmond

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Former tech freelancer and Capitol Hill local Matt Hickey already faces three rape charges filed in King County Superior Court, but on Tuesday, King County prosecutors filed one more.

The allegations in the new charging documents follow a pattern similar to the allegations contained in the other three charges: the accuser, who was 26 years old at the time of the alleged rape, says she drank with Hickey in October of 2009 and lost most of her recollection after that. Later in the night, the documents say, she remembered "flashes" that involved being in Hickey's bed, Hickey pushing her head into his groin, and Hickey's penis in her mouth. The woman later told police she felt that she was not "in her body" and was sick for the subsequent two to three days. She also told police that she only had between one and three drinks that night and wouldn't expect that quantity of alcohol to affect her like that. The alleged incident took place four years before the other alleged rapes for which Hickey is facing charges.

As with the other three charges filed against him, Hickey has entered a not guilty plea in response to the latest charge. Hickey's lawyer, James Bible, did not respond to a request for comment on the new accusation.

But one detail about the new allegation is unlike the others.

According to the charging documents, Hickey's accuser made an attempt to tell police what happened to her three days after the alleged rape occurred. The charging documents say that an initial incident report was filed, and that the original officer's notes described meeting with the alleged victim "re rape & drugged." Nevertheless, the report itself was listed as a "suspicious circumstance" and was never assigned a follow-up investigation.

The alleged victim, who reached out to The Stranger as well as the Seattle Police Department after reading a June 2016 Stranger article on Hickey's alleged porn scam, said she felt terrified when she first went to go file the report. She also said she felt that she wasn't taken seriously by the police officer who took her initial report—which didn't include details of the alleged rape, but did suggest she may have been drugged.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said her initial interview with the SPD lasted about five minutes in the lobby of the West Precinct, not in a private room, and that the original officer, Laura Wollberg, "didn't really ask any direct questions." The alleged victim did not go to the hospital or have a rape kit done. If she had been questioned in a private room, the alleged victim said, she "might have been more comfortable talking in greater detail."

"I remember feeling really uncomfortable and really scared," she said. "But I'm sort of shocked, when I read the [initial police] report now, at how little of what we talked about is in it."

This time around, the woman said, a Seattle police detective spoke with her for two hours and she was given the option of having a victim advocate present.

"Their level of care was different," she said. "I think if SPD had handled it the way it's being handled now... something substantial could have happened in 2009. But it didn't."

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SPD spokesperson Sergeant Sean Whitcomb declined to connect The Stranger with Officer Wollberg. He did offer this statement:

Police investigations are often complex. Officers and detectives do not always have access to significant details, but work diligently to pursue cases as far as they can. The 2009 incident referenced in your e-mail remains part of an active prosecution, following an investigation by the Seattle Police Department.

Our department regularly reviews its procedures and protocols to ensure victims are treated with care and important investigative details are gathered. Our department remains steadfast in our commitment to believe victims of sexual assault and thoroughly pursue their cases. Detectives continue to work closely with prosecutors to ensure that Matt Hickey is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible by law.

Hickey's next scheduling hearing on the rape charges is set for February 7. The state Attorney General has also filed a lawsuit against Hickey over his alleged porn scam, which the AG's office says violates state consumer protection laws. Hickey's been served the AG's lawsuit while inside the King County jail, where he is currently detained.