Man in jail on sexual assault charge, charged with arson

Local News

A Nocona man, already indicted for sexual assault, was charged with four counts of arson after allegedly starting a series of fires in Clay County.

The Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire on Cole Street and a Montague County Deputy noticed Matthew Scott Graves, 24, 50 yards away watching the response.

According to authorities, Grave was the one who reported the fire to 911 and was reportedly a suspect in some other suspicious fires in the Montague County area. 

Less than two miles away, deputies were called to a grass fire on Cray Lane and deputies said Graves was at the scene.

While, at that fire, another grass fire was reported south of Cray Lane, less than two miles away.

Officials say Graves gave consent to search his vehicle and deputies found two Bic lighters in the front of the vehicle as well as wadded up paper towels. 

Deputies say a search of the trunk of the vehicle also revealed a plastic gas can with a small amount of gas, as well as a Ziploc baggie with 20 Bic lighters.

According to Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons, Graves’ cell phone data showed he was at the scene of the fires at the times of the fires, as well as providing some data that refuted parts of Graves’ statement to law enforcement.

Graves is currently in the Montague County jail for unrelated charges. His arson bond was set at $200,000. 

In 2017, Graves was indicted on one count of sexual assault and one count indecency with a child.

Graves is accused of sexually assaulting a young teen and forcing other sexual acts on her.

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