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Victim’s mother, father testify in rape trial of former Webster coach

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Testimony resumed Tuesday afternoon in the trial of a former Webster coach accused of sexually abusing a minor, and the victim’s mother took the stand.

The former coach, Kali Watkins, faces two counts of rape. He is accused of raping a 14-year-old in the Webster Schroeder High School girl’s locker room.

The victim’s mom testified to her daughter’s state of mind during the 2016-2017 basketball season when the alleged rape occurred.

“At the beginning of the basketball season she was excited, and then her mood changed,” the mother said. “She was becoming more anxious, that would turn into migraines. She would have nightmares and scream out in the night.”

The defense declared the prosecution’s line of of questioning was “highly improper,” and then they called for a mistrial again. A second recess was called in less than 15 minutes. Justice Sinclair denied the defense’s request for a mistrial, but agreed that the prosecution’s questioning of the victim’s state of mind would not be allowed.

Neil Flood, a former Monroe County Sheriff’s Office employee, was called to the stand. He reviewed a video of the locker room where the teenager said the rape took place. Flood serves as the safety and security supervisor for the Webster Central School District.

Along with Flood the jury also reviewed the video. Justice Judith Sinclair instructed the jury the video only served as a visual tool for them to understand the scene being described during the trial.

Monday, the now-17-year-old victim took the stand to testify about the alleged rape when she was 14. The teen girl said Watkins pulled her to the end of the bench in the locker room, then pulled her shorts and underwear down by her ankles and forced himself on her.

The victim then said she laid on the bench until she thought Watkins was gone.

“I wiped the mascara from my face and tried to compose myself,” she said.

She then said she waited there until the team came into the locker room.

The girl said she tried to commit suicide. The defense argued her testimony was prejudicial because there is no evidence, adding that the victim is “corroborating her own story.” That was followed by another recess call from Justice Sinclair.

When testimony resumed, the defense asked the teen witness why she didn’t tell anyone about the rape. She said “I felt dirty,” and added that she did eventually tell her best friend.

She said she didn’t tell her parents because her dad is a pastor.

“I was afraid he wouldn’t love me anymore,” the girl said.

After an afternoon recess Monday, the defense began questioning the victim’s account of the rape, saying there are differences in her story. The girl responded by saying it happened two years ago and she suffered a traumatic experience.

The defense also questioned the girl about using drugs, to which the teen said she had smoked marijuana, but not on the night she claimed to have been raped.

The defense then called for a mistrial, saying the teen girl said she had to have surgery after the alleged rape, but that the surgery was a biopsy unrelated to the accusation. However, Justice Sinclair denied the defense’s motion for a mistrial.

In the opening statements Friday the prosecution and defense painted two distinctly different pictures.

Prosecution said Watkins planned the rape. He got her alone in the girl’s locker room, put his hand over her mouth, and forced himself on her.

“It didn’t happen!” was the response from defense. He said the teen’s accusation is “teenage talk gone too far.” He also said the case lacked evidence.

Watkins is being charged with one count of rape in the first degree and one count rape in the second degree.

Watkins was fired by the Webster Central School District in December 2017. The trial continues Wednesday, August 21st at 9:30 am.

Watkins is a former special education teacher and he also coached the Webster Schroeder football team and girls basketball team. District leaders say Watkins coached at the school between 2006 and 2017. He only worked as a teacher between 2015 and 2017. 

Follow Stephanie Golden for live updates from court and check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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