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District Attorney: Criminal Charges Will Not Be Pursued Against Marcus Watson

Watson is not facing criminal charges, but still has a court date for the protective order filed against him.



STILLWATER — Marcus Watson will not face criminal charges following a protective order being filed against him for an alleged rape, the Payne County District Attorney’s Office told PFB.

The district attorney’s office reviewed the Oklahoma State University Police Department’s investigation on the matter and decided to not pursue criminal charges against Watson, a freshman on the Oklahoma State basketball team.

Watson still faces the emergency protective order filed against him, for which he is scheduled to be in court on Nov. 26. That hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday before a scheduling conflict with the petitioner’s counsel caused for a motion of continuance.

With the alleged incident happening on campus, Watson could also have to go through a Student Conduct process. Standard proof is used in all university conduct hearings at Oklahoma State, according to an OSU sexual violence resource booklet, meaning the determination to be made is whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred. This is different from what is seen in criminal prosecution, where proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required.

If Watson does face the Student Conduct process, that could still affect his eligibility with the OSU basketball team and even as a student at OSU, but the DA not pursuing criminal charges is certainly a big deal.

Because of student privacy laws, Oklahoma State was unable to comment on whether Student Conduct is involved in the matter. We also reached out to the Title IX department but have yet to hear back.

Watson was suspended from the team following the emergency protective order’s filing on Oct. 21. The No. 88 prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, Watson was the highest-rated among OSU’s signees. Watson is still suspended from the team.

The Cowboys started their season Wednesday, absent Watson, with an 80-75 victory against Oral Roberts. OSU hosts UMKC on Saturday.

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