Coupeville man charged with molesting minor

A Coupeville man was charged in Island County Superior Court April 22 with child molestation.

Police accused a Coupeville man of molesting a 12-year-old girl after finding sexually suggestive Snapchat and text messages between the two of them on her phone, according to court documents.

Matthew Craig Dixon, 18, was charged in Island County Superior Court April 22 with child molestation in the second degree and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

According to a police report, Dixon and the victim first began communicating via Snapchat in October of 2020 when they were 17 and 12 years old, respectively. The report states that from November 2020 through January 2021, the two exchanged sexual messages online and met up on multiple occasions for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact.

Dixon told a detective in a statement that he believed the victim to be 15 years old for the duration of their contact, the report states. Dixon said the two never engaged in any physical contact beyond kissing and told police he ceased all communications with her immediately upon finding out her real age, the police report states.

Records of text messages between Dixon and the victim showed, however, that Dixon knew her age prior to meeting up with her, the police report states. In multiple text messages in early November 2020, Dixon referred specifically to the victim’s age and acknowledged that their contact had been “hella illegal.” Dixon also encouraged the victim to keep their interactions a secret, according to the report.

In another Snapchat from December 2020, Dixon told the victim to delete all of their communications and asked her, “Want me to go to juvy?” the report states.

The victim also told police in an interview that she and Dixon had sexual contact beyond kissing, contrary to what Dixon had told the police, the report states.