Kent State student accused of rape authorized to leave house arrest

Leah Shepard, Managing Editor

Kent State student McCoy Watkins, who has been charged with two counts of first-degree felony rape, was granted a bond modification request June 14 that released him from house arrest until his trial, scheduled for Aug. 22 in the Portage County Common Pleas Court. 

Watkins posted a $200,000 surety bond May 5 and was placed on electronically monitored house arrest at his home in Canfield. The modification as of June 14 will allow him to work at Mike Pettola Construction Inc. in Canfield. This comes after Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman denied a similar request June 1 that included reducing Watkins’ bond.

At the time, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Connie Lewandowski said she was “vehemently opposed” to any modification of the bond. 

Watkins assaulted two women after returning to the location of an off-campus party on North Lincoln Street Nov. 11, 2022, according to a Kent State Police Department report that is part of the court record.

Both alleged victims were present in a separate room adjacent to the courtroom on June 14. 

Watkins’ next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 16. In earlier court documents, Watkins’ defense attorney stated the state and Watkins are discussing a potential plea agreement. 

Leah Shepard is managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].