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Final pretrial date determined for former Kent State student charged with two counts of rape

Erin Sullivan
McCoy Watkins appears in trial at the Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna.

The final pretrial of former Kent State student McCoy Watkins, who has been charged with two counts of first-degree felony rape, has been scheduled for Feb. 14.

Watkins appeared at the Portage County Common Pleas Court in Ravenna on Jan. 26 and was given the chance to either accept or deny the plea deal given to him. At the trial, Judge Laurie Pittman said all plea deals would be off the table if Watkins rejected the plea. 

Jeffrey C. Kakish, Watkins’ attorney, requested the date of the final pretrial be set due to Watkins’ persistent denial to plea. 

According to Prosecutor Connie Lewandowski, the previous offer was for Watkins to plead to two counts of attempted rape and one count of burglary. During the pretrial hearing on Jan. 26, Watkins rejected the plea. 

Depending on the results of his next trial, he has a possibility of facing over 30 years in prison if he is convicted. 

Watkins’ charges are based off  his alleged rape of two 18-year-old and 19-year-old Kent State students after he returned to their off-campus Lincoln Street house uninvited through an unlocked door after a party.

After allegedly breaking into the house, Watkins targeted the 19-year-old victim who was sleeping on a couch, along with the 18-year-old victim who says Watkins climbed into her bed while she was half asleep. Watkins reportedly left the home.

Watkins was indicted Mar. 31 and arrested Apr. 4, where he was held for 17 days by authorities. He posted a surety bond of $200,000 on May 5, where he was placed on electronically monitored house arrest at his parents house in Canfield, Ohio. 

While on monitored house arrest, he was allowed to work at Mike Pettola Construction Inc. in Canfield. He was released from house arrest after the court granted his bond modification request Jun. 14. 

Two months later, on Aug. 21, his trial was set, until the court postponed it to Nov. 14, where he would appear in front of a jury. He would later return to the court on Dec. 11 for pretrial, where he was offered a plea deal. He returned to the Portage County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 26 where his final pretrial date would be determined. 

His final pretrial date is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Portage County Common Pleas Court in Ravenna.

This is an updating story.

Elaina Matricardi is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Erin Sullivan, Photographer
Erin is a senior journalism major who works for KentWired. She started her career as a reporter and anchor for TV2 News and a safety reporter for KentWired. Erin now serves as a TV2 reporter and photographer for KentWired. She most enjoys reporting stories that directly impact the residents of Portage County. Contact her at [email protected].

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