I-Team 8

Fired trooper's conduct could jeopardize criminal cases in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana State trooper has been fired after an internal investigation brought about some alarming accusations. 

An I-Team 8 investigation uncovered that the details swirling around his firing could jeopardize criminal cases across the state. 

State police said Sgt. Matthew Simmons had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl, who had been molested, back in February 2017. Simmons partially admitted that accusation and was fired on Sept. 4. 

Police also said Simmons lied repeatedly during an internal affairs investigation in 2016. Simmons denied those accusations. 

However, Indiana State Police sent a letter to prosecutors around Indiana alerting them about concerns that Simmons' untruthfulness led to his firing. I-Team 8 obtained the document. 

Legal authorities told I-Team 8 that letter indicates any case involving Simmons could be called into question, not only ones that are still open, but also ones with convictions already. 

"His reliability and truthfulness could possibly impeach him as a witness," said Andrew Eggers, the deputy prosecutor in Johnson County. 

The reason state police had to send out a notice to prosecutors about the concerns surrounding Simmons' credibility comes from a couple U.S. Supreme Court cases. 

"I'd say the cases that are current are going to be called into question immediately," Eggers said. 

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will comb through their current cases that involve Simmons. 

Eggers said the attorney general's office and defense attorneys would handle any convictions where Simmons served as a witness or an investigator. 

Eggers said it's too early to know if any cases could be impacted by Indiana State Police's decision. 

Simmons worked out of the district based in Versailles, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis. While that does not mean his cases were solely in that district, I-Team 8 reached out to every prosecutor in the district. 

The Jennings County Prosecutor's Office said no cases are open involving Simmons but couldn't say about closed cases. 

The Franklin County Prosecutor's Office said there are no cases involving Simmons. 

Prosecutors serving Bartholomew, Decatur, Jackson, Ripley, Dearborn, Jefferson, Switzerland and Ohio counties did not respond by Wednesday night. 

The Bartholomew County prosecutor declined to bring charges against Simmons for any criminal conduct, according to state police files. 

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