Indictment: Gwinnett man had ‘intent to rape’ during wife’s murder

The indictment returned this week against Matthew Leili — the Lawrenceville man charged in March with his wife’s 2011 murder — alleges that he intended to rape her as well.

A Gwinnett County grand jury handed up Wednesday the indictment charging Leili with murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of unlawful eavesdropping and surveillance. His wife, Nique, disappeared from their home on July 8, 2011, and, eight days later, her nude body was found covered in leaves near the front of their Lawrenceville-area subdivision.

Leili was named as a suspect almost immediately after the body was found, but was not charged until earlier this year, when a new forensic computer examination discovered enough new evidence to “tip the scales,” police said. A large amount of circumstantial evidence against Leili has surfaced in court hearings since his arrest on March 4, but Wednesday’s indictment is the first time an attempted rape against his wife has been suggested.

Count 5 of the indictment, an aggravated assault charge, alleges that Leili “did then and there unlawfully make an assault upon the person of Dominique Leili, with intent to rape.” The offense is alleged to have occurred during the same time period as the other murder and assault charges in the indictment — the eight days between Nique Leili’s disappearance and the discovery of her body.

No further details were available Thursday regarding the new allegations. Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Other counts of the indictment allege that Leili killed his wife in a “manner … unknown to the grand jury.” Authorities have previously said that Nique Leili’s exact cause of death was unclear but “highly suspicious for homicidal violence” and likely the result of some sort of asphyxiation.

The eavesdropping charges included in Wednesday’s indictment stem from recordings Leili allegedly made of conversations between his wife, her sister and her father.

Following his wife’s death, Leili and the couple’s two daughters moved to a small town in Vermont. He was arrested in Atlanta following a hearing regarding insurance payouts from Nique’s death.