Niles man charged in violent rape

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A Niles man is facing felony charges that allege he raped and beat the mother of their 6-year-old child at her Austintown home.

Sean Watkins, 41, of Fenton Street, was charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree felony rape and second-degree felony burglary in Mahoning County Austintown Area Court. The charges carry a maximum total of up to 30 years in prison.

He is also facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Watkins was ordered held in the Mahoning County Jail on $250,000 bond at his initial appearance on Wednesday. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for next Wednesday.

Reports said Watkins stalked the woman, was seen walking and driving by her home several times and constantly accused the woman of having relationships with other men.

On Monday, he sent a text message to the woman saying he was going to her Idlewood Road home, then texted her asking whose red bicycle was on her porch, reports said.

Watkins, reports said, went to her home about 6:30 p.m. Monday. The woman told police she was sleeping when Watkins knocked on her door and entered her home.

Reports said he shoved the woman on her couch. She told police he choked and punched her while sexually assaulting her twice.

The woman told police Watkins then rummaged through her home and left. The woman then went to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where officers interviewed her and photographed the text messages and the woman’s injuries.

Niles police later arrested Watkins at his Fenton Street apartment.

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