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June 9, 2023

Colorado cardiologist accused in sexual assault case named by 9 more women he met on Hinge dating app

Colorado cardiologist accused in sexual assault case named by 9 more women he met on Hinge dating app

A Colorado cardiologist accused of drugging and assaulting a woman he met on a dating app this year has been connected to multiple other alleged druggings and assaults.

Dr. Stephen Matthews, 35, was charged in March with sexual assault after a woman he met in January on a dating app, Hinge, filed a police report, NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported at the time. Since then, nine more women have come forward with accusations against Matthews, the Denver district attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Prosecutors have charged Matthews with nine sexual assault charges and seven second-degree assault charges.

The first woman who came forward, who was not named publicly, said she went on a date for breakfast and mimosas with Matthews on Jan. 29, according to the arrest warrant released Tuesday. Matthews allegedly invited the woman back to his home, where they played a game of Jenga and got into a hot tub.

She told investigators she began to feel unwell after Matthews made her a drink, according to the warrant.

“Her next memory is being at her own home and talking to paramedics,” the warrant said. “She had no memory from about noon until about 9:40 p.m. She had no idea how she got home.”

The woman learned she had taken a car home at 3:40 p.m. and made calls to her sister and a friend, who both went to her home to check on her, along with her mother, the warrant said. Her sister found her in the shower in her underwear acting erratically and called for help.

The woman had a sexual assault examination the next morning and spoke to the Denver police Sex Crimes Unit to file a report the following week, the warrant said.

Matthews told investigators in February that the sex between them was consensual but that she got ill after the fact and got a car home, the warrant said.

Less than a week after Matthews was arrested in March, investigators got a call from a woman who said she met Matthews on Hinge in January and met him at a bar, the warrant said. She said that the pair returned to Matthews’ home after she had one drink at the bar and that she felt “off balance” after he made her a tequila soda.

According to the warrant, she told authorities that she remembers kissing him and that she “blacked out,” with little memory of the rest of the night.

“She took an Uber to get home and got violently ill,” the warrant said. “She reported that she believes that Dr. Matthews sexually assaulted her but has no memory of it.”

Another woman, who said she met Matthews in October 2019, alleges that he invited her to his home after brunch to use his hot tub. She told police that “things became very blurry” after Matthews made her a drink but that she remembered vomiting in his bathroom.

“She next remembers being in her apartment with him, but not how they got there,” the warrant said. “She went to bed and woke up to Dr. Matthews having sex with her.”

Matthews sent photos of her naked in the hot tub after she told him she would not see him again weeks later, the warrant said.

All but one of the women who spoke to Denver police say they met Matthews on dating apps, either Hinge or Tinder, from October to this February. 

Some women said that they played Jenga with Matthews or went into his hot tub but that they felt ill after he made or bought them drinks, according to the warrant. One woman declined a drink from Matthews at his home and left after being uncomfortable with his getting “touchy” with her.

“She said that she subsequently realized that he was the same person who had sexually assaulted her friend … about three years ago,” the warrant said.

The only woman who did not meet Matthews on a dating app, according to the warrant, had gone to his home to a get a key to housesit for him.

They went to a restaurant, where, she said, she believes he bought her a drink and she began to feel sick, the warrant said. She called her roommate for a ride home and was not sexually assaulted but believes Matthews drugged her, it said.

In a statement to NBC News on Thursday, Matthews’ attorney Douglas Cohen said accusations are not evidence.

“Like all of us in our great nation, my client is presumed innocent,” Cohen said. “We must be careful in every case not to treat that phrase as a tired cliche or catchy book title. It is the bedrock of our system of justice that holds sacred liberty for all.”

Matthews has a hearing scheduled next week, and inmate records show he was booked into a Denver detention center Monday with “no bond allowed.” The facility could not be reached for comment by phone Thursday, and Cohen declined to comment on whether his client was in custody.

Matthews previously had privileges at a Centura Health hospital but was an independent provider. He no longer has access to the medical system’s patients or facilities, Centura Health said in a statement.

CORRECTION (May 19, 2023, 1:35 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated where the women met Matthews. They met him on either Hinge or Tinder, not only Hinge. 

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