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Charges: Man Sexually Assaults Tanning Salon Worker As She Was Closing Shop

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A central Minnesota man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman Monday night as she was closing up at the Sauk Rapids business where she worked.

Matthew Pearson
(credit: Benton County)

Matthew Pearson, 32, of Sauk Rapids, is charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, court documents filed in Benton County show.

According to a criminal complaint, the victim called 911 around 9:25 p.m. screaming that a man was attacking her, saying "He won't get off me."

When police got to the business, a tanning salon on 2nd Avenue North, they found Pearson on top of the victim, whose pants were partially off.

She told police that she was closing up shop alone when she noticed Pearson outside the locked door. When he knocked, she opened the door and he immediately attacked.

Pearson allegedly tackled her, kissed her, tried to remove her pants and then sexually assaulted her. The victim said she believed Pearson was trying to rape her.

During the attack, she grabbed Pearson's throat with her nails. Amid the struggle, she hurt her right arm.

In an interview with police, Pearson admitted that he was trying to rape the victim, the complaint states. He told police he had never seen the victim before he attacked her.

If convicted of the charges, Pearson faces decades in prison.

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