FREMONT, Calif. - California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Watkins, 34, was charged Monday for three felony counts for having unlawful sex with a minor. Police said the alleged victim was 16 years old at the time. Watkins pleaded not guilty. Watkins worked out of CHP’s San Jose office and was arrested in Fremont.
The alleged victim, who is now 18, asked not to be identified. She said they had an ongoing relationship since she was 16. The two met a condominium complex in Fremont in 2017.
“I went to the police and I told the police he and I had a sexual relationship when I was 16,” said the alleged victim.
Fremont Police said detectives began investigating Watkins last July after receiving a tip of alleged sexual misconduct. He was arrested last Thursday after police received additional evidence.
Watkins is a CHP officer. Police said the misconduct occurred when he was off duty. The alleged victim said he asked her to lie to police.
“He kept saying that I had this sexual relationship after I was 18 and I told him stop lying,” said the alleged victim. “All he’s doing is protecting himself.”
Watkins is on administrative leave. He’s been with the San Jose office since 2009.
CHP declined our request for an interview but sent a statement that said in part, “I want to emphasize to the public that the alleged conduct of this employee does not reflect the values, hard work, dedication and professionalism of the CHP and its more than 11,000 employees.”
One neighbor described Watkins as a family man.
Ashley Mason, a San Jose parent, called the arrest upsetting and disheartening, but she said it does not taint her view of law enforcement, calling him a bad apple.
“Having an 11-year-old daughter I would be mortified,” said Ashley Mason of San Jose. “Someone with that sort of power and authority I would think of it as a form of abuse.”
As for the alleged victim, she wants nothing to do with Watkins.
“No matter what happens to him I don't want any relationship with him,” said Watkins. “I don't want to see him. I don’t want to talk to him at all.”
Watkins is currently at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on a $45,000 bail. His next court appearance is March 5.