Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Rockford rape suspect arrested after police chase near Decatur

By Jim Hagerty

ROSCOE — The man accused of raping a woman and holding her captive in Winnebago County was arrested in central Illinois Thursday morning.

Matthew Harkey, 43, of Rockford, is charged with home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, unlawful restraint and residential burglary. Initial bond has been set at $1 million.

According to a criminal complaint, Harkey abducted the woman from a home in the 2000 block of LaMar Avenue, Wednesday. She was handcuffed, sexually assaulted and battered in a basement in the 5900 block of McDonald Road, a residence owned by a member of Harkey’s family.

The 34-year-old victim, who authorities say Harkey knows professionally, was able to escape and call police. Officers responded to the call at around 1:30 p.m. and found the woman suffering from head injuries.

Harkey fled the scene in a Nissan Rogue and was spotted in Edgar County, Illinois, near Terra Haute, Indiana. Police say around 2:15 a.m., Thursday, he led officers on a chase before hitting a guardrail and flipping the vehicle in Piatt County between Cerro Gordo and Cisco, just east of Decatur. Harkey was ejected from the vehicle. His injuries were not life threatening.

A Facebook page published under the name “Matthew Honda” indicates Harkey is employed by Napleton Honda in Loves Park. He was listed on the dealership’s website as a sales and leasing consultant Wednesday. His name has since been removed from.

Court records show Harkey is a registered sex offender stemming from a case in McHenry County. R.



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