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Vernal man charged with rape, robbery

Published: Tuesday, May 29 2012 11:54 a.m. MDT

VERNAL — A Vernal man who reported that a former girlfriend had been beaten at a party has been charged with assaulting and raping the woman.

Mathew Don Gale was expected to appear Tuesday in 8th District Court, where he is charged with rape, a first-degree felony, aggravated assault and robbery, second-degree felonies. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of alcohol by a minor.

Gale, 20, phoned emergency dispatchers May 19 to report that a former girlfriend had been hit in the head with a glass bottle by someone at a party, according to Uintah County Undersheriff John Laursen. 

The woman was taken to Ashley Regional Medical Center, where she told hospital staff that Gale was the one who struck her more than once in the head with a glass bottle — causing the bottle to shatter — and raped her, Laursen said.

Gale then drove the woman home, forcibly took her cellphone from her and used it to call dispatch to report the alleged attack, sheriff's deputies said.

Deputies were able to locate the remote area of Uintah County where the woman said Gale assaulted her. They matched shoeprints at the scene to the shoes Gale was wearing at the time of his arrest, Laursen said.

Gale denies any involvement in the incident, the undersheriff said.

The woman was treated at the hospital and was later released. Gale remains in the Uintah County Jail in lieu of more than $45,000 bail.

Geoff Liesik

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