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Matthew Jonathon Bartholomew

Matthew Jonathon Bartholomew

BILLINGS - A man who was accused of having sex with a woman while she had a seizure is now facing a felony charge of aggravated assault in addition to three misdemeanor charges.

Matthew Jonathon Bartholomew, 37, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court on Monday in front of court Judge Gregory Todd.

A charge of sexual intercourse without consent against him was dropped after further investigation by officers determined the woman did not feel she was raped by Bartholomew.

Added were a felony charge of aggravated assault and three misdemeanor charges of partner or family member assault, criminal destruction of or tampering with communication device and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bartholomew pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The charges are amended, with the aggravated assault replacing an original charge of sexual intercourse without consent. Todd lowered Bartholomew’s bond from $60,000 to $30,000, with electronic monitoring should he post bail and no contact with the victim.

Bartholomew was arrested at his apartment after a woman said Bartholomew had physically assaulted her throughout the day on July 12, breaking her cellphone when she attempted to call 911, and refusing to take her to the hospital after she told him she felt like she was going to have a seizure, according to court documents.

According to amended information added to original charging documents, the woman later told officers the relationship had become physically violent in May, and “sexual activity is not the issue here.”

The woman said the weekend was “full of ups and downs” and Saturday night, July 11, the defendant was in a rage, covering her nose and mouth and suffocating her when she called for help. The woman told an officer Bartholomew had, over the course of the weekend, placed her in a head lock and later pressed his forearm against her throat to strangle her.

The woman told officers “she was afraid he would kill her in a rage and not even have meant to do it.”

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According to court documents, on July 12 the woman said Bartholomew “pushed her to the ground and again suffocated her by covering her mouth and nose.” She stated she felt herself start to have a seizure and lost consciousness. She stated she woke to the defendant having sex with her, according to court documents.

According to court documents, she repeatedly stated that she did not feel like she was “raped,” and believed the defendant was trying to help her at that point in time. The woman, “stated that she did not consent to the sex and asked the defendant what he was doing.”

Bartholomew became angry and “began hitting, throwing and pushing her.” The woman said Bartholomew was still not willing to call for medical help.

By the time the woman locked Bartholomew out of the apartment, she told officers she “was fatigued and seeing stars.”

Officers observed bruising to the woman’s legs, back, arms and chest, according to court documents.

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