Former Gasconade County Sheriff’s deputy charged with 3 felonies

Dave Marner
Managing Editor

A former Gasconade County sheriff’s deputy charged in a state attorney general’s investigation into attempted sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse of a Hermann woman while on duty in March 2018 has been released from the Cole County jail in Jefferson City after posting bond.

 Bond for Matthew A. Hutchings, 33, of Morrison, was set at $250,000 in a felony Gasconade County warrant alleging two unclassified counts of attempted sodomy and  class C count of sexual abuse. Hutchings was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 6:55 p.m. Oct. 24 and held until mid-Friday afternoon in Osage County.

He was transferred Friday afternoon to Cole County. He was released some time on Monday after posting bond. Hutchings is scheduled for a 9 a.m. arraignment today (Wednesday) in Hermann before Associate Circuit Judge Ada Brehe-Krueger.

According to a press release from Sheriff John Romanus early Friday afternoon, Hutchings was placed on administrative leave on March 30, 2018, after “supervisory staff received information alleging inappropriate conduct of a deputy employed with the sheriff’s office” late in the evening on March 29.

That incident allegedly took place at a woman’s downtown apartment in Hermann, according to a document filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. D. Foust.

Romanus told The Republican, The Unterrified Democrat and The Maries County Advocate that he and his chief deputy “did an internal investigation and we reached out immediately to the Missouri State Highway Patrol to conduct a thorough investigation.” 

Romanus said once the MSHP became involved, all additional investigation in the matter was handled by the state agency.

 “The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control was contacted and requested to conduct an independent investigation into the matter as well,” his release noted. “As a result of the internal investigation conducted by the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office, Hutchings was terminated on April 5, 2018, regarding violation of policy.

Gasconade County employment records show Hutchings worked from January through September 2016 as a reserve deputy under the previous sheriff’s administration and returned on Jan. 1, 2017, to work for Romanus until his employment was terminated in April.

Romanus said Hutchings had been working full time at the time he was dismissed.

The victim, identified only by her initials in the probable cause statement, was of age, according to Osage County Sheriff Mike Bonham.

The attorney general’s office alleges Hutchings was on duty when he assaulted a woman in her home. The attorney general’s office is prosecuted the case because the Gasconade County prosecutor cited a conflict of interest, according to a press release issued Friday afternoon by Josh Hawley’s staff.

“There is no place for any type of sexual assault in Missouri,” Hawley is quoting as saying in a statement released Friday afternoon. “I am grateful to our law enforcement partners for working to ensure that those who abuse their power are prosecuted for doing so.”

Hutching is alleged to have “digitally” and orally assaulted the victim despite her repeatedly telling him
“no.” The MSHP report noted the victim had told him previously she did not want him at her house or kissing her. He is also alleged to have pulled down her pants and lifted up her shirt to touch her chest.

The patrol’s investigator noted “Hutchings stated he believed she did not necessarily mean no, and was being ‘playful.’”