Haworth pleads guilty in contract sodomy for unpaid drug debt
Julia Haworth, 31, has pleaded guilty to a charge that she contracted with Austin Matthias to sodomize a Saint Michael’s man for not paying her for drugs.
Matthias injured the victim severely in the rape that included punching the victim in the face and making him unconscious, according to witnesses in court.
Terms of the plea include a 15-year cap on jail time. The guilty plea had to include an aggravator that would make the sentence more severe. The jury found Matthias guilty of aggravators that included the crime being the worst example of a crime in that classification, and that the crime had shown cruelty on all counts.
According to Matthias, who took the stand in his trial last month, he had been Haworth’s enforcer for about five years when customers would not pay for drugs and alcohol she sold them. Matthias was found guilty in the jury trial and will appear for sentencing in the Nome Courthouse on Jan. 8.
Haworth’s trial on sex assault charges filed in April 2017 had been scheduled to begin in Unalakleet this week. The State of Alaska through the district attorney had charged Haworth on Sex Assault 1, Penetration without Consent, (Unclassified Felony) and Sex Assault 1, Penetration without Consent (Class A Felony). The Sex Assault 1, Penetration without Consent (Unclassified Felony) was later amended to Contact without Consent (Class C Felony).
Haworth pleaded not guilty to all charges.
However, on Nov. 6, Haworth appeared in court to plead guilty to Sex Assault 2 with an aggravator, in a change of plea agreement with the district attorney’s office.
Haworth remains in custody at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, pending a pre-sentence report ordered by her attorney, Robert J. Campbell; her sentencing hearing is on the court calendar for March 26, at 10 a.m. in the Nome Courthouse.
A Nome jury found Austin Matthias, 24, guilty on two counts of Sex Assault first degree and one court of Assault second degree in the contract sodomy on behalf of an alleged drug and alcohol dealer to whom the victim owed money. During the incident, Matthias punched the victim in the face and injured his nose, according to court testimony.
Saint Michael is a local option “dry” village on the coast of Norton Sound, where a fifth of contraband whiskey runs about $250.
On April 17 last year, Matthias raped the victim in the living room of the victim’s home in Saint Michael while three or four acquaintances hung out and watched or went out for smokes, and another witness babysat young children in a bedroom.
Matthias claimed he committed the act because he was afraid of Haworth; Matthias testified that she had shown him a recent photo of his wife a couple of weeks prior, and threatened to kidnap, torture and perhaps kill her, if he did not perform this “favor” for Haworth.
The crime incident involved heavy alcohol consumption, according to witnesses. They said Haworth, who was present during the crime, urged the victim to consume at least a “fifth’ bottle of booze, shot after shot, prior to instructing Matthias to punish him, according to witnesses in Matthias trial.