PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – Accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile in a Penn Township parking lot, 23-year-old Matthew Blaisdell is in the Westmoreland County Jail.
After the story aired on KDKA, a young woman contacted us to tell us her story, saying she was also an alleged victim of Blaisdell.READ MORE: Mon Wharf Reopening For Parking On Monday
The 17-year-old KDKA’s Ross Guidotti talked to did so with her parents’ permission. She made clear she was doing it in hopes other possible alleged victims of Blaisdell or any sexual assault will speak up.
Blaisdell sits in the Westmoreland County Jail held without bond and charged with sexually assaulting a juvenile girl. Police say he met the victim on social media.
When the news broke, it stunned a young woman all too familiar with Matthew Blaisdell.
“I almost started to cry because this should have ended three years ago. Why am I seeing this now?” said 17-year-old Tess Laymon.
She contacted KDKA to get her story told. In 2018, Blaisdell was charged with sexually assaulting her.
“At first, he seemed very sweet and truthful. He told me everything about his life and I didn’t bother to look him up because I was naive,” Tess said.
Like Blaisdell’s latest alleged victim, Tess met the one-time Pitt engineering student on social media.
“He had lied about his age on that site and said he was 17 but he was 20,” she said.READ MORE: University of Pittsburgh Main Campus Shifts Into Lower-Risk Classification For The Coronavirus
At 14, Tess was an easy target.
“He’s very manipulative, he can get you to believe anything and he’s very good at it. That’s how he fooled all of us,” said Tess.
She says Blaisdell’s lying, manipulation and sexual abuse of her ended at a gas station in Harrison City.
“We got pulled over by the Penn Township Police and whenever they asked how old he was, he said 20. I was astounded. I couldn’t believe it. I remember my heart jumping because I was scared at that moment because I was lied to and that’s a pretty big lie considering I’m a kid,” she said.
When it came time for Blaisdell to face justice, Tess understandably chose to protect herself.
“I just remember not wanting to see him in court and begging my parents to take a plea deal,” she said.
Blaisdell was sentenced to monitoring, restrictions on social media and probation. Tess said she’s not surprised Blaisdell is facing charges again. She believes there are likely more alleged victims out there. Her message: step out from behind the shadows.
“Show him you are not scared because if you show him fear, you’re just feeding him. Don’t be scared of him, there’s no reason to be scared of him,” she said.MORE NEWS: Baldwin High School Students Raise Thousands Of Dollars Through Polar Pop Event For Special Olympics Of Pennsylvania
Tess says she’s become stronger in the wake of her assault and she’s not a victim, she’s a survivor.