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Heber City man used religious overtones in 2 sexual battery cases, charges say

The Wasatch County Courthouse in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021.

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



HEBER CITY — A Heber City man faces criminal charges accusing him of having inappropriate sexual contact with women in two cases while using religious overtones to approach both victims.

Matthew Ernest Anderson, 47, was charged May 4 with two counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, in separate cases.

Police began investigating Anderson in February after receiving "a report of multiple females that may have been sexually assaulted" by Anderson, according to a police affidavit filed with the charges in 4th District Court in Wasatch County.

One woman told detectives that in October she went to Anderson's home in Heber City for a "family home evening" with her friend who was staying at a second Anderson house, the affidavit states. They went to an upstairs room to "pray and do spiritual work."

After it became late, the woman said it was decided she should stay the night. A short time later, the woman's friend told her that "she had a revelation that Matt needed to go to her that night," the affidavit says.

Later in the evening, while the woman was in bed and texting her friend, asking her why she said those things, Anderson entered the room, got in bed with her and began kissing her, according to police. When the woman told him to stop, Anderson continued to tell her to "pray and just ask God to show you how much light this will make," according to the affidavit.

Despite telling him no, the woman said Anderson was "persistent and manipulating her" but was not physically forceful, the affidavit states. She said Anderson left after she had asked him to leave five times.

A second woman told police that in August 2019 she was at Anderson's residence when he offered to give her a massage. During the massage, she said he made some "weird comments," telling her they were "diotic companions in the next life," the court documents state.

Later that night, after the woman had gone to bed, Anderson allegedly went into her room about 3 a.m. and got in bed with her.

"She stated she froze and was wondering what was happening. She informed me Matt told her God sent him in there to comfort her because she does not have a husband and he can provide that affection in the absence of a husband," a police officer wrote in the affidavit.

When the woman asked Anderson if his wife knew this was happening, he stated no because she wouldn't understand, the affidavit states.

After placing his hand on the woman's chest, Anderson told the woman, "Your heart is beating fast, I need to balance your chakras," according to the affidavit. He then allegedly told her that he needed to give the woman a blessing.

"During this blessing, Matt talked about how incredible and amazing she is and he is one of the seven chosen people on earth to prepare the earth for Jesus Christ to come again and he was supposed to be in the room with her to help her," the affidavit continues.

The next day, police say the woman told Anderson's wife what had happened and both women confronted Anderson. He was "crying throughout the conversation" but the woman said it "didn't seem sincere," according to the charging documents. She said Anderson apologized and claimed he "was confused because God told him to do it and maybe he was taken over by an evil spirit."

Anderson was also charged on March 5, 2020, in American Fork's 4th District Court with obstructing justice and giving false information to an officer, both class A misdemeanors; and lewdness, a class B misdemeanor. In that case, Anderson is accused of having sex with a woman inside a minivan parked near an area where an officer was running speed enforcement, according to a police affidavit. He then allegedly lied about his identity to police.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly said Anderson is 37. He is 47.

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