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Ex-girlfriend letter to judge: Jesse Matthew repeatedly raped as a child

Murder/abduction/sex assault suspect Jesse Matthew. (AP)

A woman who says she dated Jesse Matthew from 2003 to 2005 claims that the man accused of raping and murdering multiple women was himself raped as a child.

She says she knows of at least three people who sexually abused him and she says one raped Matthew repeatedly and forced him to keep quiet about it.

We asked Forensic Psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren to weigh in on the claims.

"Of course we don't know if that is true, but what we do know is that people who assault others have a history themselves of being treated violently. This is not an excuse for anything, [but] it can be a reason," Dr. Van Susteren said.

The former girlfriend wrote that letter to a Fairfax County Judge, hoping he will take her claims into consideration when he sentences Matthew on Friday for a violent 2005 rape.

Matthew is also awaiting trial in the murder or Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, whose body was found in early 2010, and UVA student Hannah Graham who was found murdered in late 2014.

Dr. Van Susteren says the childhood sex abuse claims may not be enough to sway the Judge when it comes to sentencing.

"In this case the violence perpetrated is much too severe to have any mitigating effect, I would say, on any kind of punishment," Susteren said.

Matthew is scheduled to be in an Albemarle County Courtroom Wednesday afternoon for motion hearings in both the Harrington and Graham cases.

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