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Man faces felony charges

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing multiple felony charges in Martin County.

Matthew Melvin Geist, 32, has been charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Geist also faces three charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

At approximately 8:45 p.m. on January 17, 2021, police officers responded to the 1000 block of North North Avenue in Fairmont following a call from a female who told dispatch she needed officers at her house right away. Two officers arrived on the scene and made contact with a woman who stated that Geist had sexually touched a minor girl who is a relative. An officer spoke with the girl who described some of the incidents.

The other officer spoke with Geist, who denied touching the girl. Geist was placed under arrest and was transported to the Martin County Jail.

Another officer arrived at the scene and took a statement from the girl. She told the officer that she and Geist were sitting on the couch in the living room watching Netflix when he tried to touch her inappropriately.

She stated that her mother woke up and walked into the living room causing Geist to jump off the couch. She stated that her mother tried to call the police but Geist kept trying to take the phone away.

The officer then asked the mother what had happened. She said she came into the living room and saw Geist and the girl on the couch under the same blanket. She stated that Geist then jumped off the couch and was obviously aroused. She stated she then attempted to call the police on her phone, but that Geist followed her around the house and tried to take the phone away from her, telling her not to call the police.

The woman said that Geist got the phone away from her once, but she was able to get it back later. With the woman’s permission, the girl was transported to the Law Enforcement Center for additional questioning.

At the Law Enforcement Center, the girl repeated the allegation she had made earlier and described previous instances of sexual abuse by Geist. She stated that this abuse always happened on the couch in the living room while the two were alone watching Netflix. She stated she tried to stop him the first time but was unsuccessful.

She stated that Geist began touching her inappropriately in the summer of 2020 when she was 14 years old. When asked how many times Geist had done this, she estimated that it occurred approximately twice a month, for a period of six or seven months. She further stated that Geist made her touch him inappropriately as well.

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