Lake County deputy bonds out of jail after sexual battery arrest



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County Sheriff's deputy bonded out of jail Thursday after he was arrested on charges of sexual battery, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said Deputy Sheriff Matthew Donnelly was arrested Wednesday evening.

According to investigators, on Jan. 1, a woman filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office following an encounter she said she had with Donnelly early that morning. Investigators said the alleged crime happened while he was on duty.

According to a sheriff's report, the woman said the she and her boyfriend were out celebrating New Year's Eve at Senor Frogs in Orlando and that during the drive home she passed out from drinking too much.

Investigators said the woman's boyfriend flagged down Donnelly to get help for his girlfriend.

The woman told investigators when she woke up Donnelly was standing beside the car she was in. She said that her boyfriend was in the back of Donnelly's patrol car.

The woman told investigators that Donnelly began to grope her and make inappropriate comments. She said he told her he would not take her boyfriend to jail is she kept quiet. She said she was scared and felt like she had to cooperate.

According to the report, Donnelly then called for relatives to pick the woman and her boyfriend up.

Investigators said a sexual assault examination and DNA evidence supported her claims, even though she was never actually in the patrol car.

According to reports, the victim’s DNA was found on Donnelly’s flashlight, the steering wheel and the gear-shifter knob.

The report said that in-car camera video from Donnelly's car shows the boyfriend flagging down Donnelly.

According to investigators, a short time later the camera was turned off for 22 minutes.

Channel 9’s Jeff Deal went to Donnelly’s home but no one answered the door.

Neighbors said Donnelly is a nice guy, a husband and a father of three.

I’ve never had any indication he’s like that, I don’t know it’s kind of crazy,” said Donnelly’s neighbor Carl DeVelvis.

Donnelly has been on the force since 2004 and the sheriff's office is now in the process of firing him.