Matthew Maldonado found not guilty of sexual abuse, kidnapping
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - One of two students at a martial arts school on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow female student on New Year’s Eve was found not guilty Monday.
The jury found Matthew Maldonado, 26, not guilty. He was charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and first and second degree sexual abuse.
“For 10 months I have been incarcerated for something I didn't do,” Maldonado says. “From the beginning, I knew I was innocent.”
The jury is continuing to deliberate the fate of Nicholas Schultz, 21, who is Maldonado's co-defendant and is facing the same charges.
Authorities say they sexually assaulted a fellow student after a night of drinking on New year’s Eve earlier this year.
Much of the alleged incident was caught on surveillance video inside of a parking garage next to St. Matthews Catholic Church in Northwest. The tape, which was shown in court, was graphic. But Maldonado's attorneys argued the woman voluntarily accompanied the men and the sex was consensual.
All three were part of the Lloyd Irving Martial Arts Studio in Camp Springs.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Maldonado and Schultz both sexually abused the victim repeatedly while she slipped in and out of consciousness.
Documents say that the victim bumped into both Maldonado and Schultz at the Washington nightclub, and they offered to escort her home because she was too drunk to drive.
Defense attorneys for Schultz later told the jury that the sex was consensual.
As for the woman at the center of this case, Maldando could not comment because of a possible civil case.
For now, he said he is looking forward to the future and continuing on his path as a medal winning fighter.
"My dreams are just to go keep continuing what I was doing before you know and try to win and many championships as many I can," he says.