A man accused of assaulting a co-worker who offered him a place to stay during a thunderstorm was bound over for arraignment on charges of rape and drug distribution Thursday afternoon in Ellis County District Court.
Nathan Daniel Watts, 33, was charged with one count of rape and one count of distribution of Clonazepam within 1,000 feet of a school for an incident that allegedly occurred on June 19. The assault was reported four days later, when a woman called police and said Watts was in the parking lot of the fast-food restaurant where they worked and was stalking her.
The alleged victim, a 20 year-old woman, took the stand in Monday’s preliminary hearing. She testified she was working the closing shift with another woman that night when thunderstorms brought heavy rain. As she lived outside of Hays and didn’t feel she could drive home safely during the storm, she asked the co-worker if she could stay overnight with her.
The woman said she and her co-worker knew Watts, who also worked at the restaurant, was homeless and had been sleeping on a mattress in the back of his SUV. They felt bad for him sleeping there during the storm. She asked if he would like a place to sleep for the night, and he followed the women to the co-worker’s home after they closed the store.
When they got to the co-worker’s home near O’Loughlin Elementary School around 12:30 a.m., the three went to her basement bedroom. The woman said she changed into some pajamas she kept her in car. As she sat on the edge of the bed, Watts offered her a bottle of Clonazepam, a prescription drug sold as Klonopin used to treat seizures and panic disorder. She took 1.5 pills, she testified.
“I did make the decision to take them,” she said.
Watts then offered her a water bottle, but when she took a drink, she realized it was filled with vodka.
The woman then got under a blanket on the bed and Watts asked if he could get under the blanket too. The three co-workers shared the bed, with the 20-year-old woman in the middle, and started watching a movie.
She said soon after, Watts put his hand down her pants. She was feeling the effects of the Clonazepam and vodka and said, along with being “terrified” at what Watts was doing, couldn’t move.
“I knew that if I tried to stand up, I wouldn’t be able to,” she said of how she felt.
She said to her female co-worker that Watts was touching her, and the co-worker told him to keep his hands above the blanket or he would have to leave. A few minutes later, however, he put his hand in her pants again, the woman testified.
She testified she then blacked out, and said she did not remember anything that had happened until she woke up the next morning and found her pajama pants on the floor.
The woman said she had the next two days off from work so went home. When she returned to her job, the female co-worker took her aside and said Watts had been bragging that he’d had sex with her.
Under cross-examination from defense attorney Olavee Raub, the woman admitted Watts did not threaten her or make any comments, nor did she tell him to stop.
“I was intimidated,” she said.
Raub asked why.
“I didn’t expect him to do something like that,” she said.
Raub asked if she ever indicated to Watts what he was doing was not OK, to which the woman said she thought saying something to her female co-worker would be enough.
The woman called police to report the assault on June 23, saying Watts was in the parking lot of the restaurant where they worked in his vehicle, although he was not working at the time. When police arrived, his vehicle was not in the parking lot, but later was l located at a nearby motel parking lot.
Hays Police Officer Ryan Blecha testified Watts was sleeping on a mattress in the back of the vehicle, and consented to a search of the vehicle. Ten empty bottles of vodka and a variety of empty prescription bottles were found. A bottle of Clonazepam was found in Watts’ pocket, he said.