VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — After a two-day jury trial, a man was found guilty Wednesday of a Virginia Beach sexual assault that happened over a decade ago.
42-year-old Lesiba Simon Matsoake was convicted of forcible sodomy. The jury fixed his punishment at 40 years in prison.
Prosecutors say on June 11, 2004, Matsoake forced a 22-year-old woman, who he didn’t know, to perform oral sodomy on him. The victim, an aspiring comedian, was at the Oceanfront that night celebrating her first gig. After having a few drinks, she went to 63rd Street and decided to skinny dip in the ocean. It was in the middle of the night, and the victim thought the area was deserted and no one was around. Suddenly, she saw a naked man, later identified as Matsoake, walking toward her.
Matsoake forced the victim to the ground. Waves crashed over her head as she struggled against him. Fearing for her life, the victim begged Matsoake to move up the beach and out of the water. Matsoake sexually assaulted her and then ran away.
The victim got into her car right away and drove to the police station. On the way, she saw an officer on the side of the road and flagged him down. She told him she had been sexually assaulted. She was able to preserve seminal fluid left behind by her attacker and forensics technicians collected it. The DNA evidence was submitted to the Department of Forensic Science to see if a suspect could be identified. In 2012, Matsoake was determined to be a match.
10 On Your Side’s Jason Marks spoke with the victim of this assault, Amoreena Wade, who said she waited 12 years for this day.
“I know that he is not going to be out doing this to anyone ever again,” said victim Amoreena Wade. “This was a cold case for so long that there were years that I just accepted the fact that I had to get closure without this ever coming forward.”
When the verdict was read, Wade was heard sobbing in the courtroom. She now works as an advocate for other sexual assault victims.
“There is always this fear that he might be found not guilty,” Wade said. “It was just absolute relief that he was found guilty.”
A jury made up of 10 men and two women took an hour to find Matsoake guilty.
Wade is now an advocate helping other sexual assault victims cope with the pain, but she still has questions for Matsoake.
“I want to know why,” she asked. “What makes somebody get to that point where that is the only way they can get satisfaction or something that brings them joy, pleasure and happiness to hurt somebody else that much?”
The 2012 DNA hit helped connect Matsoake to a Dare County rape. He’s currently serving a 20 to 25 year prison sentence for that offense, which happened on June 10, 2003.
In 2007, Matsoake’s wife told police that he had confessed to some sexual assaults in North Carolina. When officers came to question him, they found out he had fled to his native country of South Africa. He was extradited back to the U.S. in 2012 and remained in custody in North Carolina pending his trial there.
In June, a jury also found Matsoake guilty of forcible sodomy in connection to a December 10, 2006 assault. That jury recommended life in prison. Matsoake will be formally sentenced on December 14.
This was the second of three sexual assault cases in Virginia Beach against Matsoake. The third case will be heard in December.