David Watson sentenced to 10 years for sexual assault of Tech student

David Watson, 23 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
David Watson, 23 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - David Watson, 23, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the sexual assault of another Texas Tech student back in May of 2012.

The jury him guilty of Sexual Assault on Monday, but stopped short of the charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault.

He will be eligible for parole, but Watson will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The jury went into deliberations at 2:29 p.m. and delivered the sentence around 4:20 p.m.

The sentencing was followed by an emotional victim impact statement from the victim's mother.

She broke down on the stand, saying, "David Watson has damaged a young woman's life."

She even called him a despicable excuse for a human being. The victim began crying during her mother's statement while Watson looked down at his feet.

KCBD obtained a copy of her letter. In it she wrote, "On a personal note, David Ryan Watson, while you were humiliating and raping my daughter you told her, 'Your father is a carpenter. Your mother is a doctor. They are nothing. My parents are both ex police chiefs. No one will believe your story.' Well, someone did believe her story and you were found guilty."

Defense attorney Chuck Lanehart says there are no winners in court today and he says both sides fought hard. He said he doesn't know at this time if appealing the verdict is the right thing to do.

District Attorney Matt Powell said in his opinion, rape is the worst crime in the books because the victim will have to deal with this forever.

He says courage isn't only found on battlefields and he encourages all victims of sexual assault to come forward.

During the trial we learned that both of Watson's parents work in law enforcement, holding high-ranking positions in the Houston and Austin area.

This was an emotional trial, full of tense moments for all the participants. At one point, as a recording of the incident was played in court, one of the jurors had to leave the room.

Watson's accuser was forced to listen to the recording a second time in court.

Defense attorney argued Chuck Lanehart said the sexual acts were consensual because of a previous Skype conversation the victim had with the defendant, but prosecutor Wade Jackson was quick to object, saying consent comes not before, not after, but during the act.

Prosecutor Barron Slack said this was a calculated, pre-planed, vicious sexual assault against the victim. He said that was proven by a document they found on Watson's computer planning the release of photos and video if he was arrested.

District Attorney Matt Powell's closing arguments were the last thing the jury heard before they went into deliberation. Powell played the explicit recording of the incident for the jury, where they heard the victim screaming for Watson to stop.

Powell said the evidence literally screams rape.


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