Jesse Matthew  (Photo: Charlottesville PD)
Jesse Matthew
(Photo: Charlottesville PD)

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ A former girlfriend of Jesse Matthew says that he was raped as a child and that it played a key role in allegations that he raped and killed multiple women. Matthew is awaiting trial in the killings of college students Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington. Earlier this year, Matthew was convicted in Fairfax County of sexual assault for an attack on a woman in 2005. He will be sentenced Friday in that case and could get life in prison. In a letter to the judge made public Tuesday, the girlfriend, whose full name was not included in the letter, said Matthew was sexually abused by at least three different people. In another letter, Matthew’s mother begged for mercy and said her son “has always shown respect to everyone around him.”