By Nancy Drury Duncan —
Adam Watkins, 36, of Melfa, was acquitted of rape in a jury trial on Tuesday.
Watkins was charged with the 2018 forcible rape of his sister-in-law who was only 14 years old at the time. The girl, who lives in Maryland, was staying with her sister, Samantha Watkins, and Adam Watkins during the summer of 2018 to help care for the couple’s young son while they were working.
Samantha Watkins testified she was using drugs that summer. “I was out of my head with jealousy.” She said her drug use caused her to be paranoid. She said she thought her husband was cheating on her with various women including her young sister at that time.
The girl testified Watkins came home from work early one day near the end of August. “He made sexual comments and tried to touch me. I pulled away.”
She said Watkins carried her upstairs and raped her. “I asked him to stop. I said no.” She said she was afraid and told no one about it until Thanksgiving of 2020.
Her sister left Watkins and was staying in Salisbury, Md., with her mother and sister. Early in the morning of the day after the holiday, the girl’s mother awoke to a fight between her two daughters. She heard Samantha Watkins accuse her sister of having sex with her husband. The girl told her she was raped. When their mother overheard this, she brought her daughter to the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office and charges against Watkins were filed.
“This is not a complicated case,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan. “This man forced himself on a 14-year-old child.”
“This was a family squabble,” said defense attorney Diane Toscano. She compared it to an episode on the Jerry Springer show. A jury of five men and seven women deliberated for a little more than an hour before returning with a verdict of not guilty.