ITHACA, N.Y. — A Candor man convicted of sexually abusing a young girl last summer, prompting her and another girl to run away from a campsite until they were safely found the next morning, was sentenced to prison Friday afternoon.

Matthew Williams was sentenced to six years in prison for felony first-degree sex abuse with 10 years of post-release supervision and one year in jail each for two endangering the welfare of a child charges.

According to court records, Williams gave two girls wine coolers and took them to a wooded area without their parent’s consent. While there, he sexually assaulted one of the girls in his truck while the other girl was in the cab of his truck. The girls testified that they were able to lock him out of the truck when he stepped out of it, and he began throwing bottles at a nearby tree. The girls were able to eventually run away into the woods, where they hid from Williams all night.

During sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama read a written statement from the survivor of the abuse, in which the girl wrote that while she initially wanted to confront Williams one more time, she eventually decided that she didn’t want to see him ever again.

“I’ve thought about my pain, forgiveness, grace, and closure. I’ve even tried to put myself in your shoes,” she wrote. “But forgiveness is first for me, the forgiver.”

The girl wrote that while she spoke the truth at the trial, Williams lied, called her vulgar names, mocked her, and blamed the two young girls for his actions. What Williams didn’t do, she wrote, was make any kind of substantial submission of guilt or apology.

“You do not deserve mercy or leniency,” the girl wrote.

Lama echoed the young girl’s concerns after reading the statement and said that in addition to the conviction in Tompkins County, Williams was recently convicted of similar charges in Tioga County.

She said that while Williams said the Tompkins County convictions are “bullshit,” surely the other charges — first-degree criminal sex act and first-degree sex abuse against two young girls — were not also bullshit. He was sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision for the Tioga County convictions.

“He is a danger to children, a predator, and he must be kept away from them for as long as possible,” Lama said. “Everything calls for the maximum sentence. Please give it to him.”

The maximum sentence in this case would have been seven years in prison with 10 years of post-release supervision.

Judge Gerald Keene said, “I think the sooner you admit that you’ve go this propensity…(and get professional help) the better off you’re going to be.”

Keene signed orders of protection against Williams which will last until 2048 and he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Correction: The original title incorrectly stated the location where the crimes were committed. They happened in Danby.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.