Vowing to "become the man my mother raised me to be," a Frankford man who admitted raping four women between 2007 and 2012 was sentenced Thursday to 35 to 100 years in prison by a Philadelphia judge.
Matthew Jones, 30, apologized several times to his victims and promised Common Pleas Court Judge Donna Woelpper that he would rehabilitate himself and pay restitution to crime victims while working in prison.
"I am truly sorry for all the hurt that I caused," Jones said as his mother, sister, grandmother, and young daughter wept in the rear of the gallery.
Woelpper, however, said that Jones had been classified as a "sexually violent predator" under Pennsylvania's Megan's law and was a "poor candidate for rehabilitation," and that she needed to "protect the public."
Defense attorney Renee M. Sihvola called Jones' mother, sister, and grandmother to testify that he would have a place to live and family support when he is released.
Debra Jones turned and apologized to one of her son's victims, who testified at the hearing and remained in the courtroom.
"I hope you accept our apologies," Jones said, wiping away tears as her voice cracked. "I can't imagine what you've gone through."
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp said Jones was arrested after the final rape - that of the victim who testified - on Aug. 29, 2012 at Frankford Avenue and Dyer Street.
He was about to be freed on reduced bail in January 2013, Kemp said, when Jones' DNA matched that found on three other women raped in Frankford, on May 10, 2007, in the 6100 block of Tackawanna Street; Aug. 28, 2008, in the 1200 block of Sellers Street; and March 26, 2011, in the 4900 block of Frankford Avenue.
In one case, Kemp said, the victim was attacked in her home, and beaten and raped in front of her 11/2-year-old child. In another, the victim was beaten so severely, she was unrecognizable. The women ranged in age from 25 to 45, Kemp said.
The 40-year-old victim of the final rape said she wished Jones had been sentenced to the 60 to 100 years Kemp requested.
"I'm scared to walk down the street," the woman said. "I'm scared someone will attack me and rape me, even in my home. . . . He's ruined the way I feel about men - period."