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Allegheny

New rape charges against man accused in murder of Pitt student Alina Sheykhet

Megan Guza
| Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

New rape charges have been filed against a man already charged with killing a University of Pittsburgh student and raping an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student, court records show.

Matthew Darby, 21, is charged with rape, sexual assault, indecent assault, simple assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor for the alleged rape of a 17-year-old Elizabeth Township girl.

Darby was charged last week in the Oct. 8 killing of his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Pitt student Alina Sheykhet. Police arrested him two days after the killing in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he remains awaiting extradition.

A court case stemming from rape charges filed by another ex-girlfriend in March was also working its way through the Indiana County court system.

The Elizabeth assault and the days leading up to it paralleled aspects of Darby's other alleged crimes.

The teenager told police that Darby would contact her in the middle of the night and try to get her to stay up talking to him. “She stated he would contact her over and over again,” according to the complaint.

In the hours leading up to the alleged rape in Indiana, police said Darby called the victim 33 times. He called Sheykhet five times in less than an hour before, police say, he broke into her home and killed her.

The alleged victim in the Elizabeth case told police she met Darby at a party at IUP in the spring and had a brief interaction with him. She said she hadn't spoken to him since then, he began messaging her on Instagram near the end of September, according to the complaint.

They began texting and talking via phone, and Darby asked the teen out to dinner, according to the complaint. He picked her up about 5 p.m. Oct. 3, she told police.

Police said that Darby pulled over near a wooded area and took a phone call, and the teenager stepped out of the car while Darby talked. According to the complaint, Darby then got out of the car and the two walked toward the woods talking.

Darby allegedly pushed the teenager to the ground and raped her, police said. The teenager told police she asked Darby to stop.

Back in the car, police said, Darby told the victim, “I wouldn't say anything.”

He took her to a fast-food restaurant and dropped her off at her home.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said late last week that he authorized the latest rape charges. Allegheny County Police filed the charges Thursday.

Police said the Elizabeth teenager reported the rape after Darby was accused in Sheykhet's killing.

Sheykhet had recently filed for a protection from abuse order against Darby. He was charged with criminal trespassing Sept. 21 after police said he climbed a gutter and broke into Sheykhet's Oakland apartment.

Darby still faces the trespassing charges as well as a charge for allegedly violating the PFA order, along with the homicide charges and rape charges.

Darby's attorney, David Shrager, called the charges serious and upsetting.

“We expected (the charges), so I was not taken by surprise,” Shrager said.

He said he will wait until Darby arrives in Pennsylvania to discuss the charges with him.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @meganguzaTrib.

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