Arraignment delayed in Camas High molestation case




An arraignment hearing for a Camas High School custodian and assistant softball coach accused of inappropriately touching more than a dozen female students has been delayed for two weeks because the defendant has not yet retained an attorney. Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis also recused himself Friday because the man coached Lewis’ son.

Robbyn D. Mattson, 58, of Camas is accused of walking through the school’s common areas as students were moving between class periods and fondling the buttocks of at least 17 female students.

Mattson is now scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 13 on charges of five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, eight counts of third-degree child molestation and four counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation.

Vancouver attorney Steven Thayer made a courtesy appearance on Mattson’s behalf Friday.

“We’re trying to sort out the representation issue,” Thayer said. “That’s why I asked to set (the arraignment hearing) over.”

Thayer said the case would likely be reassigned to Judge Scott Collier.

Mattson has been out of jail on $10,000 bond since his first court appearance Dec. 22 but is prohibited by court order from having contact with his accusers or Camas High School.

According to a court affidavit, video surveillance showed Mattson routinely leaving the custodian’s closet during the change in class periods, winding through a crowd of students and then returning to the custodian’s closet.

Assistant Principal Tom Morris observed several selections of surveillance footage that showed Mattson reach out and touch a female’s buttocks, according to a probable cause affidavit by Camas police Detective Brie Bieber.

The Camas School District reported Mattson to police Dec. 17 after learning about the allegations. Officials immediately placed Mattson on paid administrative leave as police began looking into the accusations.

Court papers indicate that a 15-year-old girl disclosed to her mother on Dec. 16 that the school’s custodian had touched her buttocks.

The girl “thought it was an accident because it was crowded,” Bieber wrote. “However, when she heard it had been happening to a lot of girls, she realized it was probably intentional.”

Investigators said Mattson touched 17 female students during school hours in the past month, according to a news release from Camas police. The ages of the students range from 14 to 18.

During an interview with police, Mattson admitted to intentionally touching the girls and said he did it for the thrill, Bieber wrote.

Robbyn Mattson is not to be confused with Robert T. Mattson, a teacher at Skyridge Middle School who is unrelated to the defendant.