Fort Worth

Weatherford attorney no-billed on sexual assault of former client

A Parker County grand jury declined to indict a Weaherford attorney of sexual misconduct with a former client.
A Parker County grand jury declined to indict a Weaherford attorney of sexual misconduct with a former client. Courtesy

A Parker County grand jury Thursday declined to indict an attorney on a charge of sexual assault of a former client last year.

The case involved Matthew McConahay, 43, of Weatherford, who is a former Fort Worth police detective and ex-criminal justice professor at area colleges, according to his website and college records.

McConahay had been accused of the sexual misconduct of a 42-year-old Wills Point woman while he represented her in a drunken-driving case. She is not being identified because she is a victim in the alleged case.

“We examined surveillance video, interviewed numerous witnesses, executed search warrants, conducted forensic analysis of electronic devices, and scientifically tested biological evidence,” special prosecutor Christy Jack said Thursday.

“Today, the results of our investigation were presented to a Parker County grand jury, which declined to return an indictment or take any further action. I am not at liberty to disclose the grand jury’s vote or the reasons behind their decision,” she said.

Jack, of Fort Worth, is a former Tarrant County prosecutor who was assigned as a special prosecutor in the case.

McConahay could not be reached Thursday for comment.

The Willis Point woman was arrested June 22, 2015, by Weatherford police on suspicion of drunken driving and was later charged with driving while intoxicated, driving with an invalid license and resisting arrest.

In June, she pleaded guilty to DWI and resisting arrest. The other charge was dismissed, Wainwright said. Days after that, she was sentenced to four years in prison.

An investigation targeting McConahay began this summer when the woman and her new attorney, Reed Wainwright of Weatherford, filed a motion for a new trial, saying her rights had been infringed upon, her plea was not voluntary and she had ineffective counsel.

District Judge Craig Towson granted a new trial in August and during a hearing on that motion McConahay declined to answer questions related to sexual contact with the woman, Wainwright and a prosecutor said. The woman again was sentenced to four years in prison on the DWI charge in September.

Wainwright said his first question to McConahay was “Did you ever sexually assault (the woman)?”

McConahay responded that on the advice of his attorney, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Parker County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain has confirmed that McConahay declined to answer Wainwright’s questions. McConahay was asked about five questions related to sexual conversations or actions, “and he took the Fifth on every question,” Swain said.

A Texas Ranger then began an investigation into the woman’s complaint against McConahay.

According to his LinkedIn page and law firm website, McConahay was on the Fort Worth police force from October 1995 to October 2005. As a police detective, he investigated crimes including drug sales, DWI, murder, gangs, sexual offenses and robbery.

While he was on the police force, his name was Matthew Grove, but he legally changed it to Matthew McConahay in October 2003, according to Tarrant County court records.

He was an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Texas Christian University, Tarleton State University in Stephenville and Weatherford College, according to his LinkedIn page.

At Weatherford College, he taught at the police academy, starting in October 2005 and ending in January 2013, according to his website. Weatherford College records say he started in February 2007 as a part-time instructor, but no records were available showing when he left.

His website says he taught at TCU from January 2010 to January 2012. TCU records say he was hired Sept. 1, 2011, as an adjunct faculty member for criminal justice and worked September to December 2011, and February to May 2012, when he completed his last contractual term.

He taught at Tarleton from January 2010 to January 2013, according to his website.

He established the McConahay Law Firm in May 2006.

This report contains information from Star Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr