At River Lodge Press Conference, Fortuna Police Announce Arrest of Former Teaching Assistant on Charges of Sexual Abuse of a Child | Lost Coast Outpost | #childabductors


Fortuna Police Chief Casey Day at today’s press conference. Photo: Andrew Goff.

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From the Fortuna Police Department:


On
Friday, January 29th 2021, at approximately 7:00 A.M., the Fortuna
Police Department took 29 year old, Matthew Oliver Gibson of
McKinleyville, into custody and booked him at the Humboldt County
Correctional Facility.

Gibson.


Between
2017 and 2018, Gibson was employed as a teaching assistant for Toddy
Thomas Middle School in Fortuna. During that time, Gibson repeatedly
and sexually victimized a middle school student while working in his
capacity as a teaching assistant. Gibson was primarily helping with
an after school program at the time of the occurrence. Information
concerning these events and allegations finally surfaced in January
of 2021 and the Fortuna Police Department was notified.


Detectives
and School Resource Officer’s worked diligently to establish and
corroborate facts associated with the allegations which subsequently
culminated with Matthew Gibson’s arrest this morning. The
collaborative effort and cooperation between school officials and the
police department throughout this investigation has been excellent
and this remains an open and ongoing investigation.


The
Fortuna Police Department would like to thank the District Attorney’s
Office and allied agencies for their assistance with this
investigation.


It
should be emphasized that Matthew Gibson’s employment with Toddy
Thomas Middle School ended in December of 2018 and he was not
currently employed at the time of his arrest. The school district’s
number one concern has always been the safety and wellbeing of
students and will continue to be their number one concern going
forward.


The
Fortuna Police Department is seeking information from anyone who
might have knowledge about the allegations against Matthew Gibson to
come forward. Additionally, the Fortuna Police are working tirelessly
to identify any additional victims and ask that anyone with any
information contact Fortuna Police.


Matthew
Gibson was booked into jail for suspected violations of California
Penal Code sections: 261.5(d) – Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a
Minor, 261(a)(1) – Rape, 288(a) – Lewd and Lascivious Acts,
288(b)(1) – Lewd and Lascivious Act by Force, 288.5(a) –
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, 289(a)(1)(A) – Forcible Acts of
Sexual Penetration, and 288(c)(1) – Sexual Abuse of a Child Under
16 Years of Age. A number of additional felony violations will be
filed with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.


The
Fortuna Police Department remains committed to public safety and
transparency.


Any
questions regarding this incident can be directed to the Chief of
Police, Casey J. Day at (707)-725-7550.

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Video from the press conference at the Fortuna Police Department’s Facebook page below:



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