Neb. Man in Court, Married to Girl, 14

The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 30, 2005; 5:49 PM

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A man accused of impregnating a 13-year-old girl whom he later married pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge he sexually assaulted the teenager.

Matthew Koso, 22, is charged with first-degree sexual assault. The girl, now 14, gave birth to their daughter last week.

His trial date was set for October. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison.

Nebraska requires people to be at least 17 before they can marry. But after Crystal Koso became pregnant, her mother gave permission for Matthew Koso to take the girl to Kansas, which allows younger minors to get married with parental consent.

The Associated Press generally avoids naming victims of sexual assault, but the couple has spoken freely with other news organizations, and the girl's name has been widely reported.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius recently said she was asking legislators to establish a minimum age for marriage. She said the age should be 16, 17 or 18, "so we don't, after the fact, cover up abuse of children."

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said again Tuesday that the investigation is continuing and additional charges against Koso involving other young girls are possible.

Koso's lawyer, Willis Yoesel, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Bruning acknowledged that he has received a "significant" amount of mail from the public saying he should leave the couple alone.

"But this is not a job we do to win popularity points," Bruning said. "I was elected to enforce the law. And anytime a grown man has sex with a child, it's not a close call for me."

Bruning said that Koso is a friend of the girl's half brother and began a relationship with her when she was 12.

Worst part about this is according to an poll 40 percent of people polled don't think this is wrong.

"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"