OLIVIA, Minn. -- Matthew Thomas Fahey, 25, of Marshall, now faces the possibility of a life sentence in prison if convicted for the abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in Fairfax on May 4.
A Renville County grand jury returned an indictment against Fahey on May 20 that includes criminal sexual conduct charges that carry a maximum penalty of life.
The indictment includes charges of criminal sexual predatory conduct; kidnapping to facilitate felony or flight; first- degree criminal sexual conduct, fear of great bodily harm; and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, penetration and use of force and coercion.
The charges are identical to those originally filed by prosecutors in the case, but when brought forward by a grand jury indictment carry a possible sentence of life in prison, according to Glen Jacobsen, assistant county attorney in Renville County.
Grand jury proceedings are secret, but the indictments become public once a defendant is arraigned on the charges. Fahey was arraigned on the grand jury indictment last Thursday, according to the court administrator's office in Renville County.
The jury had been convened and returned its indictment that day.
Fahey is currently in the Renville County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
The complaint alleges that he followed a girl in his car as she delivered newspapers around 7 a.m. He allegedly forced her into the vehicle and drove to a cemetery and sexually assaulted her. She jumped out of his moving car and put her cell phone that he had tossed out of it back together and called for help.
Fahey was taken into custody a few hours later at his home in Marshall.
He has a prior conviction for indecent exposure in Brown County. Several women reported allegations to authorities there that Fahey had either followed them, exposed himself, or performed a lewd act, according to news accounts following his arrest.
He was known to Renville County authorities for offenses ranging from burglary and theft to alcohol related traffic matters.
Tom Cherveny is a reporter at the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minn., which is owned by Forum Communications Co.