KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been charged with raping a co-ed at Western Michigan University 10 years ago.
Caleb Watson, 29, of Milford, was charged last week with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of assault with intent to commit penetration.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office says the assault happened in the fall of 2013. The victim was a freshman at WMU. Watson, then 20, lived in the same dorm. The AG’s Office said the assault caused the woman “both physical injury and long-term mental anguish.”
“This case exemplifies the long-term trauma that can stay with the victims of sexual assault,” Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said in a statement. “Victims often continue to deal with the impact of sexual assault for years, and for some victims it becomes a life-long struggle. Helping those victims obtain a sense of justice, even years after their assault happened can be very important for their recovery.”
The charges came after the case was picked up by the Kalamazoo County Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which was formed in 2017 to look into old cases and untested rape kits. The AG’s Office said the Kalamazoo County SAKI program has yielded 14 convictions. Eleven more cases are making their way through the court system. In all, SAKI is reviewing about 225 cold case assaults dating back as far as 1976.
Watson was arrested April 25 and his bond was set at $250,000. He’s expected back in court for a hearing on May 10. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Anyone with more information about Watson or the assault can call SAKI Investigator Richard Johnson at 269.569.0515 or email email@example.com.