Police look for more victims after sex assault arrest

A 19-year-old man accused of sexual assault and lewdness with a minor also may have sexually assaulted children at a home day care operated by his mother when he himself was a juvenile, Las Vegas police said Monday.

Matthew Joseph Andrews was arrested Sept. 17 on five charges of sexual assault with a minor and lewdness with a minor.

Officer Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman with the Metropolitan Police Department, said the charges stem from allegations involving Andrews when he was between the ages of 15 and 16. Morgan said the female victim was then “quite a bit” younger than 14.

She didn’t explain why so much time had passed between the alleged assault and the arrest.

She did say police received the information from a mandatory reporter. The professions classified as such include teachers, social workers and ministers and they are required by law to report child abuse should they learn of it.

Morgan said the first known victim was not connected to the day care operated by the suspect’s mother, Holly Andrews, at 8500 Eddy Stone Ave., near West Charleston Boulevard and South Durango Drive. Once it was discovered Andrews still lived at home, police began investigating the possibility of other victims.

Since the arrest, police said two other victims have been identified, both of whom attended the day care.

Morgan said the two new cases under investigation involve incidents that took place when Andrews was between the ages of 11 and 13. Morgan wouldn’t provide details about the victims because the investigations are ongoing.

Morgan said the cases indicate that Andrews may have a history of inappropriate behavior around children.

“He hasn’t learned,” Morgan said. “If you’re 11 and 13 and do this, and two years later you do it again, that’s showing a pattern.”

Charges in the two new cases have not been filed yet.

The day care, which was active from 2001 to 2009, was shut down voluntarily last week. Holly Andrews relinquished her child care center license, according to Chrystal Main, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Holly Andrews was licensed to have up to six children in the house from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Main said. Licensees are inspected annually and the state agency had no record of infractions at Andrews’ home.

Residents or employees of child care centers who are over 18 are required to pass a criminal background check.

“They have no history that I’m aware of,” Main said.

Defense attorney Gregory Mills said the Andrews family has cooperated fully with police and has turned over records of children who attended the day care.

This isn’t a case of an adult stalking young children, he said.

“We’re talking about when he was a young child,” Mills said, referring to the case involving Andrews between the ages 11 to 13. “It was reported to all parents that were involved... Everybody was informed about what had happened.”

Mills declined requests for additional comment.

Jose Corral and his children, Richard and Elizabeth, lived across the street from Holly Andrews’ day care.

Corral, 52, said his daughter attended the Andrews’ day care three years ago when she was 5 years old.

Learning of the allegations was “pretty scary,” he said. “This isn’t the kind of place you’d think this would happen.”

Richard Corral, 18, said he’d attended school with Andrews since the seventh grade. They would skateboard together around the neighborhood, an affluent area with new homes and well-tended yards.

News of the arrest was “shocking,” Richard Corral said.

Andrews went on a six-month mission for his church before enrolling at the College of Southern Nevada, he said.

“If anything, he was just a good kid,” Richard Corral said. “They were a Mormon family, he was brought up right, and always really nice. I really can’t believe it.”

Reporters Alan Choate and Antonio Planas contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.