Watson was convicted for events following a March 1, 2009, incident in which a 17-year-old was at his friend’s house when a dog attack occurred. Police were called and Watson was dispatched to the scene. He later gave the 17-year-old a ride home. During the drive, the teenager later testified, Watson made a lewd gesture while grabbing at his crotch.
Over the following days, Watson sent messages to the teenager, saying he needed to discuss his “payment” for the ride home. In one text message, Watson said the two could get together and “have a little fun if (you) know what I mean.”
The teenager reported the exchange to a high school coach, and school officials then contacted law enforcement. With a GBI agent nearby, the teenager then made two recorded phone calls to Watson who, during the second call, explicitly discussed acts of sodomy. Watson also repeatedly told the teenager that he did not have to do anything he did not want to do, the ruling said.
Jurors, after hearing the recorded phone calls and testimony, found Watson guilty.
In Monday’s opinion, the state Supreme Court found that prosecutors had been able to prove the first prongs of the law — that Watson solicited another individual and asked that person to commit sodomy. But because prosecutors could not show that Watson wanted the act to be done in public, by force, for money or with someone under legal age, the conviction must be overturned, the court said.