Jessie DeWayne Ray, First man arrested under Molly Jane’s Law sentenced to prison

Jessie Dewayne Ray
Courtesy of Arlington Police Department

(Fort Worth, TX) – Jessie DeWayne Ray, 26, pled guilty Wednesday to an aggravated sexual assault from 2019 and 396th District Judge George Gallagher sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

Ray was the first person arrested under Molly Jane’s Law, which was named for Molly Jane Matheson, a 22-year-old Fort Worth woman who was murdered in 2017.

The law authored by state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, requires law enforcement investigating a sexual assault to input information into the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program database which is maintained by the FBI. The goal is to help investigators find similarities in cases they are working to prevent the same person from attacking again.

“It is extremely satisfying to know Molly Jane’s Law provided a way for the agencies involved to communicate with one another in order to identify this offender,” said Tracy Matheson, Molly Jane’s mother, who was in court for the sentencing. “Serial rapists must be held accountable so that lives can be saved. He may be the first; he will not be the last.”

In the Tarrant County case, Ray sexually assaulted a woman September 21, 2019, at the Crystal Canyon Park in the 1000 block of Brown Boulevard in Arlington. The victim reported that she was approached from behind by a man on one of the trials. That man, wielding a gun, recorded the attack with his iPhone.

In May 2020, Ray was arrested in Tyler during a narcotics investigation. A search of his iPhone showed a video of a sexual assault, so law enforcement officers put the details of the attack into the national database. The recording was of the Arlington sexual attack.
Ray received a life sentence in Tyler on Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance and was transferred to Tarrant County for today’s sentencing. He next goes to Oklahoma City, where he will be facing charges on an additional sexual assault linked to him after his arrest on the 2019 Tarrant County case.

“This law is a key resource for law enforcement officers investigating cases of sexual assault,” Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson said. “Rapists can be caught, arrested and prosecuted before they attack again.”

Tarrant County Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Stephanie Simpson and Emily Dixon worked on this case, as did CDA Investigator Chris LaChance and Victim Advocate Imelda Lopez.

Molly Jane Matheson’s killer was sentenced to prison earlier this year. In March, Reginald Kimbro pled guilty to Mattheson’s rape and murder in addition to the rape and murder of Megan Getrum, a Plano woman. He also pled guilty to several other rapes. He was given two life in prison without the possibility of parole sentences, another life in prison sentence, and three additional terms of 20 years in prison.