Lassen DA Office Announces Conviction in Decades-Old Sexual Abuse Case


A sexual abuse case that occurred nearly three decades ago in Lassen County has culminated in the conviction of the perpetrator, ensuring justice for the survivor.

The Lassen County District Attorney’s office announced the conviction of 58-year-old Matthew Curtis Hurst, from Stockton. Hurst was found guilty after a recent jury trial, facing 23 counts of sexual abuse of a child, with 10 of those counts categorized as aggravated. The offenses occurred between 1993 and 2000, and the victim has since reached adulthood.

This successful prosecution was made possible by a specific legal provision that extends the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses. It applies when the victim was under 18 at the time, the crimes were reported to law enforcement within a year, and corroborative evidence beyond the victim’s statement exists.

The District Attorney’s office emphasized that while the ten aggravated counts carry a life sentence without time constraints, the other non-aggravated counts would typically be subject to a ten-year statute of limitations. However, because Hurst confessed to the crimes, all counts became prosecutable.

Matthew Curtis Hurst is scheduled for sentencing on October 19, facing a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life, with consecutive sentences mandated by statute. This landmark conviction underscores the commitment to pursuing justice in even the oldest of cases and holds significance not only for the survivor but also for other adult survivors who may not have reported their childhood abuse, as depending on the nature of the abuse and other factors, it may still be possible to report such cases.