A man has been arrested in Marion County, Florida, on charges of lewd and lascivious battery after a car accident involving a 15-year-old runaway. The incident occurred at the intersection of Highway 40 and Highway 41 in Dunnellon on September 11.
The Marion County Sheriff’s deputies initiated an investigation into Steven Thomas Matychak, 19, following the incident. The girl, who hails from Santa Rosa County, had reportedly been picked up by Matychak and taken to Marion County. The victim disclosed that Matychak snuck her into his room, where they engaged in multiple sexual acts.
However, an argument between Matychak and his parents ensued, leading to the victim being smuggled out of the room along with her dog. While walking along the roadway, the victim suddenly found herself waking up in the hospital after being struck by a car. Although she couldn’t recall the events leading up to the accident, she expressed fear that Matychak may have played a role in her being hit.
In an interview with detectives, Matychak claimed to have been walking along Highway 40 when the victim was struck by a vehicle that then fled the scene. He also mentioned that the victim’s dog had been hit by another vehicle while he was trying to assist her.
Matychak admitted to having engaged in sexual activity with the victim, despite being aware that it was against the law. As a result, he has been charged with lewd and lascivious battery as well as interfering with the custody of a minor.
Sources: Marion County Sheriff’s Office, UF Health Shands Hospital
Lewd and lascivious battery: Engaging in sexual activity with a minor, typically involving force or coercion.
Interfering with the custody of a minor: Taking, enticing, or removing a minor from their lawful custodian without permission or legal authority.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office: Local law enforcement agency in Marion County, Florida.
UF Health Shands Hospital: A hospital in Gainesville, Florida, where the victim received treatment for her injuries.