14th Circuit Solicitor's Office​

Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties​

Greater Bluffton man convicted of sexually abusing two girls

Sara Malone

BEAUFORT, SC (June 7, 2024) – A Pritchardville man who repeatedly sexually abused two young girls is headed to prison.

Luis Angel Matais-Zavala, 45, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree sexual conduct in Beaufort County General Sessions Court. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He received a 25-year sentence for the first-degree offense and 15 years for the third-degree offense. The sentences are to run concurrently. Once Matais-Zavala’s prison sentence is completed, he will face deportation back to Mexico.

Luis Angel Matais-Zavala

“Sexual abuse is an insidious crime. In most cases, it goes unreported,” said Sara Malone of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “In this case, we had two brave little girls who came forward and told a family member about the abuse. She immediately took both girls to the hospital. They are the real heroes in this story.”

On May 20, 2023, a 9-year-old girl was brought to Coastal Carolina Hospital complaining of lower abdominal pain. While being examined by a nurse, the girl disclosed that she had been “touched in her private parts.” Law enforcement was notified, and Matais-Zavala was quickly interviewed by investigators.

During a forensic interview, the girl disclosed that the abuse first began when she was 5 years old. A second 9-year-old girl also revealed she had been assaulted by Matais-Zavala while at a Bluffton park and he took her into the nearby woods.

Matais-Zavala admitted to Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators that after assaulting the first child successfully, he had the idea to sexually abuse the other child. In addition to his prison sentence, Matais-Zavala must register as a sex offender. Two permanent restraining orders also have been issued.

If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of sexual assault, help is available. To immediately report a sexual assault, call 911. To learn more about sexual assault survivor services, call the 14th Circuit Victims Services Center at (843) 790-6220 and ask to speak with a forensic nurse.

Matais-Zavala’s criminal record includes a 2008 conviction for illegal entry into the United States.

Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen handed down Wednesday’s sentence.  

Malone is a member of the Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit, which prosecutes cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and other crimes against vulnerable populations. She has been with the Solicitor’s Office since 2022.