A witness in the trial of an Elgin man accused of sexual offences against a dozen females has told a court she feared she would “get raped in the woods” by him.
Matthew Watson, 36, is facing a total of 21 charges relating to his alleged conduct with 12 women and girls in Elgin, Inverness and across Moray – with three charges accusing him of raping two girls when they were teenagers.
He also faces a further charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Watson denies all the charges against him.
On the second day of the trial at the High Court in Aberdeen, a 28-year-old witness told the jury that Watson took her down a dirt track between late 2007 or early 2008 within a “very” secluded wood when she was around 14 years old.
In relation to that witness, Watson faces charges of assault with intent to rape, and using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards her at locations in Moray.
She alleged Watson tried to force himself upon her and became “angry” and “pushy” when she asked him to stop.
Witness tells court she tried to push accused off but he was too strong
The woman told advocate depute Craig Murray: “I was trying to push him off me, but at the end of the day I had no strength over him.
“I was in a wood in a car in the dark. At the time I thought ‘I am going to get raped in the woods’ – that felt like the next stage.”
Defence counsel Bert Kerrigan QC asked the witness: “You feared that he might rape you but that was not something you put into words?”
“I don’t actually think anyone would say that”, she replied. “The word no means no”.
Among the other 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 a female who was under 16 at the time.
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.
She 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”.
Woman says she ‘freaked out’ when accused exposed himself to her
Another witness, who gave evidence on the second day of the trial and who would have been 13 or 14 at the time of the charges, claimed she also met Watson through Bebo in late 2006.
She told the court Watson requested that she send sexual pictures, that he drove her to laybys around Moray and suggested that they spend a day together at lingerie shop La Senza.
The woman claimed that in order to placate him she would find pictures of women from Google and send those to Watson.
The relationship ended, the woman said, when Watson attempted to indecently assault her at a beach when she was 14.
A fourth witness, also now 28, told the jury that on one night between 2008 and 2009 Watson took her for a drive to an isolated pond before exposing himself to her.
She said: “I was scared and I told him I wanted to go home – I freaked out.
“I looked out the car window to see if there was anyone about but there was no one.”
A fifth witness also took the stand and claimed that Watson had induced her to send a picture of herself in a state of undress when she was 15 or 16, but that no physical contact ever took place.
The trial continues.
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