By SABRINA BLANCO POST-JOURNAL A suspended Jamestown police officer allegedly committed several inappropriate
acts while on duty, according to witness statements on file with Jamestown City
Court. The charges are detailed by nine witness statements on file detailing Michael
Watson’s alleged inappropriate activities toward three women that resulted in
criminal and civil service charges. Watson is suspended without pay from the
Jamestown Police Department.
Edward Cosgrove, a specially appointed prosecutor, expects to know in the
next two weeks where Watson’s trial will be held. It is expected to take place
in Chautauqua County. Watson is charged with four counts of second-degree aggravated harassment,
two counts of first-degree harassment, official misconduct and fourth-degree
stalking. While he is not a suspect in the disappearance of Jamestown’s Yolanda Bindics,
the charges result from an investigation into the relationship between Watson
and Ms. Bindics. According to police officials, none of these three complainants
are Ms. Bindics, however.
According to the victims and witnesses, Watson allegedly harassed each of
the three women with consistent phone calls. e-mails and sexual behavior that
threatened their personal well-being while he was both on and off duty.
“If I wrote down every time he was outside my house or followed I would have
to bring a scroll to you,” said one female victim. “I have other officer friends
and if they were at my house, Mike would pull up and say ‘Are you cheating on
The witness said their relationship started innocently with e-mails and
turned into the victim and Watson “meeting up” on two or three occasions to
have sexual intercourse at a rural location near Jamestown. While the victim
says she was not interested in a relationship with Watson, he didn’t agree
and the e-mails turned into as many as 12 telephone calls a day.
It is alleged that Watson would sit in a dark alley outside of her house
for hours at a time, and sometimes in front of her home if no one was there.
“It kept her from going outside the house,” one witness said.
The officer, in his e-mails to the victim, would write things like, “I miss
you,” “I love you” and “I can’t stay away from you.”
“I wanted to end it with Mike, but no matter how I tried to tell him, nothing
worked,” the victim wrote. She reported six incidents between May and
August 2003 where Watson had harassed her or sat outside of her home. It did
not end until the victim threatened to have him arrested.
Another female victim was pulled over in her vehicle by Watson on Feb. 3,
allegedly for no legitimate reason but to gratify his sexual desires, according
to the court documents. Watson allegedly leaned into the vehicle and kissed
her on the cheek without her consent.
Between January and August 2004, Watson allegedly appeared in several places
at the victim’s workplace, exposing himself in front of her and using language
that she was uncomfortable with.
“It seemed like (every time he saw me coming or leaving from work) he was
always behind me, following me with the police car, this made me feel nervous
and uncomfortable,” the victim wrote in her statement.
Another victim endured nearly six. years of inappropriate behavior from Watson
starting in 1997 and ending in May 2003.
The victim wrote that Watson allegedly followed, annoyed and made sexual
gestures and comments toward her. According to court records, on numerous occasions he allegedly sat outside
her residence for hours at a time and drove by her residence, causing her to
become uncomfortable. “She even changed her daily schedule around the defendant’s actions to avoid
a confrontation,” said a witness. “Many times I would be going down to the (vending area at work), I was always
scared because it was dark and I knew he would be close,” said the victim.
"When I came around the corner into the vending room out back he startled me
and he had (exposed himself and was) standing there touching himself ... I
was afraid to tell anyone.”