SANTA ROSA, California – Three Santa Rosa hockey players arrested in February on suspicion of sexual assault are due to appear in court in Reno, Nevada on April 14, according to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office.
The men, Dominic Jones, 34, Josiah Nickel, 30, and Moses Matthews, 33, were players with the Santa Rosa Growlers until the news of their February 5 arrests came out and they were removed from the team.
All three were arrested on one crime for sexual assault, and Matthews faces an additional criminal count of illegally disseminating an intimate image and a misdemeanor charge of capturing, distributing or displaying an image of another person’s private territory, according to court records.
A recently obtained police report from that night provides each person’s version of events – the three suspects and the alleged victim, although the suspects, according to police, gave conflicting accounts during at least two interviews. All three men told police that all sex with the alleged victim was consent. The suspected victim told police she was being held down while all three men assaulted her.
All allegations below have been taken from the official police report and have not been proven in court.
According to the police report, the woman met Moses Matthews at The Stick Sports Lounge in Reno on February 3rd. The two later went to his hotel room and had sex with consent, the suspected victim told police. Matthews’ teammates, who were also staying in the room, were not there at the time. All three were in town for a game against the Reno Ice Raiders, the first of their season.
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Later, Josiah Nickel and Dominic Jones returned to the room, and the four sat and talked and drank, according to the police report. The alleged victim told police that Matthews asked her to stay overnight and she was hesitant at first, but he allegedly showed her his “marshalls badge” (sic), indicating that he was in “some kind of law enforcement” and could be trusted , so she said yes to staying, she said.
Matthews ever denied showing the woman a badge, but the police report says the woman took a picture of the badge with Matthews posing in the background.
According to the alleged victim in the police report, Matthews agreed to take her home to pick up an overnight bag, which he, according to police, refused. Police say the alleged victim’s roommate confirmed her story that she came home to grab an overnight bag. The police report stated that hotel surveillance photos recorded all the team’s coming and going with time stamps.
The alleged victim said that when they returned to the hotel, the two queen beds had been pushed together. The suspects claim they did it for space, so as not to have to share a queen bed with another man. According to the police report, the other two hockey players were not in the room at this time, which was around 1 p.m. 02.37.
Matthews and the woman continued to have sex again, she told police. The woman claims that when Matthews was on top of her, his teammates Nickel and Jones entered the room and began to undress. She claims Matthews then held her down while Jones penetrated her.
“She was lying and crying and felt unable to move or say no,” the police report said.
The alleged victim told police she felt the whole thing had been “orchestrated”.
The police report also claims that Nikkel also sexually assaulted the woman orally.
When she was able to free her arms, she told police in the report, she claims she grabbed her phone and called a friend to come and pick her up. She told police she was telling Matthews, “This was not okay.”
The report says Matthews drove her home. At 5:10, Matthews allegedly wrote to her, “Baby (pronounced) I’m feeling so bad.”
The next morning, Reno police arrived at the hotel to talk to Matthews. In the police report, they claim that they asked him if he knew why they were there, and that Matthews replied, “Probably around last night.”
Police said all three suspects refused to go to the police station to be questioned. Police reported that all three agreed to have their cell phones examined and the bedding collected as evidence.
In the police report, the officer notes that Matthews said all sex was with consent. Officers allege Matthews said the alleged victim also “showed interest” in Jones and Nickel and had intercourse with them. Matthews denied having taken the alleged victim to get her overnight bag, which police say her roommate confirmed, and he refused to send her the text “Baby (expletive) I feel so bad”. Police claim they have the text as evidence.
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In an interview with Jones, the police report claims that he said he had sex with the alleged victim, but that it was with consent. Police say the report says Jones told them he could have “possibly made a mistake” in interpreting the signs of consent. ”
Nickel also said he had consent to oral sex with the alleged victim. The suspects have also reportedly told police that both beds had been pushed together all evening, which police reported could be refuted by cell phone photos from earlier in the evening showing the beds apart.
Police claim that when they looked at Matthews’ cell phone, they found a picture of the alleged victim having sex with him, which she did not know had been taken. The police claim that the picture was texted to Nikkel’s phone with the message: “I will return after I (pronounce her)”, to which Nikkel allegedly sent a text message: “Do UN *** a.” Police claim that it was a crime when the “intimate picture” was taken and sent without the knowledge or consent of the alleged victim. In the report, police claim that Matthews admitted to having sent the picture.
According to the police report, the woman had a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) examination, which revealed an “injury” to a part of her body, which was obscured in the report.
Police claim that the following day, the suspects were questioned at the police station, and “each suspect changed their original statements and made statements that were incompatible with those they made the day before.”
All three suspects claimed the sex was voluntary, police reported. All three denied that the alleged victim had been held down during the events. They denied hearing her say, “That’s not what I signed up for.”
“They all had different stories about how the other suspects engaged in sexual activity with the victim,” the police report reads.
The report concludes with this: “The victim’s history and timeline had not changed since her first interview. The victim’s timeline was further confirmed by hotel surveillance, cell phone surveys, eyewitness statements and SART survey results … The following day, the victim responded to the police station to hand over her cell phone to an exam and was still visibly shaken and crying. ”
Dominic Jones was contacted for this story and declined to comment. Moses Matthews and Josiah Nickel were also contacted but did not respond.