DeLand Man Charged With Molesting 11-Year-Old

By on March 11, 2019 in WNDB News

DeLand, FL – A 43-year-old DeLand man faces charges in the molestation of an 11-year-old girl.

DeLand Police arrested Matthew Petersen after the child’s school contacted the Department of Children and Family Services.

The girl told the DCF representative that Petersen, who is her mom’s boyfriend, would come to her every morning while her mom was in the shower. She said that he touched her breasts and buttocks over her clothing while laying next to her.

The girl said Petersen knew that she was awake while he was touching her. She said he would stop when she would tell him that she had to get ready for school.

She didn’t tell her mom but did tell two friends. One of those friends adult sister contacted the DCF Abuse Hotline. The girl’s mother was contacted and a controlled phone call was set up.

The controlled call was recorded and put into evidence. The mother told Petersen she had been called by the school pertaining to allegations against him. He said he had no idea what that could be about. The mother informed Petersen that her daughter disclosed the information. Petersen said he did nothing sexual to the girl.

The mother told Petersen she was willing to work things out if he was 100 % honest with her. She also offered to go for counseling with him but she needed to be sure that he would not “touch” her daughter again. Petersen finally admitted to touching the girl over her clothing while the mother was in the shower, virtually the same story as the daughter told. He then apologized to the mother.

The mother then told Petersen that she needed time to process the incident. she also told him that he needed to stay away from her home and her daughter per a DCF Safety Plan.

The mother said she was distraught about the investigation and reported that her daughter has been acting differently. She also said she had seen no indication that Petersen was doing something to her daughter. The mother said Petersen woke her daughter each morning for school.

The mother told deputies that she and Petersen were engaged to be married in the fall. She contacted him on her way to talk to DCF and said she was surprised that he didn’t seem upset about the investigation and denied doing anything sexual to the child.

Upon completion of the controlled call, the DCF representative contacted Petersen to advise him of the investigation. He agreed to meet with DCF at their office in DeLand. VCSO responded to the DCF office and placed Petersen under arrest.

Petersen remains in Volusia County Jail on no bond.

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