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Colorado cardiologist charged in sexual assault case named by 9 other women he met on dating apps


May 19, 2023

A Colorado cardiologist accused of drugging and assaulting a woman he met on a dating app this year has been linked to numerous other alleged drug and assault charges.

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, KUSA, an NBC affiliate of Denver reported at the time. Since then, nine more women have filed charges against Matthews, the Denver district attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged Matthews with nine counts of sexual assault and seven counts of second-degree assault.

The first woman to come forward, who was not publicly named, said she had a date for breakfast and mimosas with Matthews on Jan. 29, according to the arrest warrant issued Tuesday. Matthews allegedly invited the woman to her house, where they played a game of Jenga and got into a hot tub.

She told investigators that she began to feel unwell after Matthews mixed her a drink, according to the court order.

«Her next memory is being in her own home and talking to the paramedics,» the order read. «She didn’t remember from noon to 9:40 pm she had no idea how she got home.»

The woman learned that a car had been brought home at 3:40 pm and called her sister and a friend, who went to her house to check on her, along with her mother, according to the court order. Her sister found her in the shower in her underwear acting erratically and called for help.

The woman underwent a sexual assault exam the next morning and spoke with the Denver police’s Sex Crimes Unit to file a report the following week, according to the warrant.

Matthews told investigators in February that the sex between them was consensual, but that he became ill after the fact and took a car home, according to the court order.

Less than a week after Matthews was arrested in March, investigators received a call from a woman who said she met Matthews on Hinge in January and met him at a bar, according to the court order. She said the couple returned to Matthews’ home after she had a drink at the bar and that she felt «unbalanced» after he made her a tequila drink.

According to the warrant, she told authorities she remembers kissing him and «passed out,» with little recollection of the rest of the night.

“She took an Uber home and became seriously ill,” the order says. «She reported that she believes Dr. Matthews sexually assaulted her, but she doesn’t remember anything about it.»

Another woman, who said she met Matthews in October 2019, alleges that he invited her to his house after lunch to use his hot tub. She told police «things got really blurry» after Matthews mixed her a drink, but that she remembered throwing up in her bathroom.

«She later remembers being in his apartment with him, but not how they got there,» the warrant read. «She went to bed and woke up to Dr. Matthews having sex with her.»

Matthews sent nude photos of her in the hot tub after she told him she would not see him again for weeks, according to the court order.

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

Some women said they played Jenga with Matthews or soaked in his hot tub, but felt sick after he made or bought drinks for them, according to the court order. A woman refused a drink of Matthews at her house and left after feeling uncomfortable with him being «picky» with her.

«She said that she later 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 court order, had gone to his house to get the house key for him.

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

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

«Like all of us in our great nation, my client is presumed innocent,» Cohen said. «We must be careful in all cases not to treat that phrase as a tired cliché or a catchy book title. It is the bedrock of our justice system that upholds sacred liberty for all.»

Matthews has a hearing scheduled for next week, and inmate records show he was booked into a Denver detention center Monday «with no bail allowed.» The facility could not be reached for comment by phone Thursday, and Cohen declined to comment if 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 medical system patients or facilities, Centura Health said in a statement.