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SLO man found guilty of molesting 2 girls, faces possibility of life in prison

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Whether someone has asked you for help or you sense someone is in distress, here are some general guidelines to help support possible victims of abuse, be it physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial.
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Whether someone has asked you for help or you sense someone is in distress, here are some general guidelines to help support possible victims of abuse, be it physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial.

A San Luis Obispo man was found guilty by a jury Friday of sexually molesting two young girls in 2016, and he now faces the possibility of life in state prison.

The jury of nine women and three men found Matthew Roland Betts, a San Luis Obispo contractor, guilty of six counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of sexual penetration of a child.

He had been out of custody on $250,000 bail in the years leading up to the trial, but was taken into custody of the Sheriff’s Office following the hearing after being allowed a few moments to hug his parents, who have attended all proceedings in support.

Betts, 47, was accused of molesting the daughter of his girlfriend over a period of several years and was caught inappropriately touching the daughter of a friend in a separate incident.

The trial began with jury selection June 24, and closing statements were delivered Wednesday. The jury took roughly a half-day to deliberate.

On the first day of testimony June 28, both of Betts’ victims, now 11 and 16 years old, testified about the abuse.

Betts was arrested June 29, 2016, after a then-13-year-old told investigators that Betts, who had dated the girl’s mother, abused her over the course of about five years, three years earlier.

Investigators learned of a separate incident, in which a friend of Betts’ allegedly caught him inappropriately touching the friend’s then-8-year-old daughter during a gathering in the family’s living room.

His defense team, attorneys Ginger Ortiz and Jeffry Radding, declined comment after Friday’s hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth said that each of the felony charges of sexual penetration of a child carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

Betts will remain in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail until his scheduled sentencing Aug. 12.

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