An Elgin man has gone on trial facing allegations of sexual crimes involving 12 different women and girls, including three charges of rape.
Matthew Watson is facing a total of 21 charges relating to his alleged conduct with 12 females in Elgin, Inverness and across Moray, and a further charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Among the charges are two allegations of raping a female when she was aged between 15 and 17, and again when aged between 17 and 19.
He also faces a third rape charge relating to another female, who was under 16 at the time.
Watson, 36, is further charged with assaulting and attempting to rape another girl under 16, and with having sex with two different girls, aged under 16.
At the High Court in Aberdeen it was alleged that Watson operated for 18 years in the region by using social media and driving girls to rural locations.
Watson denies all the charges against him.
Witness told court accused first contacted her on ‘Bebo’
The court heard from its first witness, now 29, who Watson is charged with having unlawful sexual intercourse with, as well as using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards at locations across Moray between 2005 and 2008.
She alleged that she had first encountered Watson through the social media platform Bebo when she was 13 or 14 years old.
The woman told the jury that Watson – who would have been around 20 or 21 – took her to a number of laybys and off-country roads where his behaviour “always turned sexual”.
Giving evidence via video link and under questioning from advocate depute Craig Murray, she also claimed that on one occasion Watson took her to a kids’ animated movie.
And that every time they would meet “there would be a sexual contact of some sort”.
“I was nervous and scared and I thought if I did this to make him happy then he would be happier with me”, she told the court.
“He said he loved me and that he wanted to be with me. He told me I was the best thing ever.”
However, the woman also claimed that Watson would often send her pictures of his genitals on social media and that they would argue from time to time because he had approached other girls at her school.
Defence counsel Bert Kerrigan QC asked the 29-year-old witness whether the sexual intercourse she had with Watson was consensual because she had “told the police that it was”.
She answered: “That is correct.”
Accused faces numerous charges involving underage girls
The charges allege that Watson started meeting underage girls around October 2005 and continued until October 2018.
Watson, of Mannochmore, Thomshill, Elgin, also faces nine charges of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards nine different girls under 16.
He denies all the charges against him.
The trial continues.
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