Alleged groping in laundromat leads to felony charge

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man who allegedly groped a woman in a laundromat has been charged with a Class A felony.

Matthew Lee Houser, 45, will be arraigned at 1 p.m. July 10 on a charge of indecent liberties-forcible compulsion, the maximum punishment for which is life in prison. He was charged Friday.

Houser has a limited criminal history, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Woolman of Clallam County said Monday at Houser’s first Superior Court appearance.

He is represented by Port Angeles attorney Karen Unger, who did not participate Friday in the hearing.

Houser and the 45-year-old woman he allegedly sexually assaulted at 4:30 a.m. June 21 had a prior romantic relationship, according to a police report.

A surveillance video at the 24-hour Peabody Street Coin Laundry recorded the assault, according to the report.

It shows the two dancing around the laundromat before he began kissing and grabbing her, and that she said “stop,” the report said.

Minutes after the two left the laundromat, Houser told a police dispatcher that the woman is “vindictive” and that he “is allowed to touch her if he wants,” according to the police report.

The woman told an officer Houser began assaulting her when they were standing by the laundromat soda machine.

“[The woman] said she needs counseling services after the interaction,” the police report said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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