EUGENE, Ore. -- The Lane County Sheriff's Deputy accused of raping an 18-year-old woman was arraigned in court on Monday.
40-year-old Matthew Hitson didn't enter a plea, but a preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 2nd.
Springfield Police arrested Hitson on Friday. He's booked in the Lane County Jail, which is where he used to work.
On Monday, Hitson's attorney, Bryan Boender, released the following statement:
“The allegations made by an adult woman against Matthew are serious and demand the highest burden of proof. All of us are entitled to due process under the law. As Matthew’s case moves forward, it is important that we respect his rights because these same rights protect us all.
We are at an important time in our country’s history. Issues of gender equality are, rightly, taking center stage. Now more than ever, we must respect the facts, law, and the legal process before we rush to judgment. Justice cannot be served when it is based on accusations alone.
These accusations are further complicated by Matthew’s public safety career. We cannot let the political climate unfairly judge Matthew because of his profession.”