Voice Staff Report
The Kentucky State Police arrested Dustin Tyler Watkins in a Whitley City rape investigation and released the following statement concerning the arrest.
‘On Wednesday, March 2, 2022, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) Post 11, London, Troopers served an indictment warrant, making an arrest as the result of a rape investigation stemming from 2020.
Post 11 Trooper Dackery Larkey began the investigation in 2020 and recently presented the case to the McCreary County Grand Jury, which returned an indictment warrant for a suspect in the case. This morning Post 11 Troopers located and arrested Dustin T. Watkins, age 31, of Whitley City, in Lexington, KY. Mr. Watkins, who currently serves as an officer with the Transylvania Police Department, Mr. Watkins served as a McCreary County Sheriff’s Deputy at the time of the alleged incident leading to today’s arrest.
Mr. Watkins is charged with Rape 1st degree and has been transported to the Whitley County Detention Center.
Both the Transylvania Police Department and the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department have been cooperative throughout the investigation.
The investigation remains ongoing by lead investigator Trooper Dackery Larkey.’
McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters commenting on the case stated, “In 2020 I was alerted by McCreary County 911 about a call concerning two young women going house to house wanting to speak to a police officer. “
“After locating the young women and learning of their concerns, I took them to the Sheriff’s Office and immediately alerted the Kentucky State Police. Due to the nature of the case concerning a former employee of the MCSO, I asked the KSP to conduct the investigation to allow for full transparency.”
“The MCSO has cooperated fully throughout the investigation and will continue to do so. Due to the ongoing nature of the case, I cannot provide further comment at this time.”
Watkins was employed at Transylvania University at the time of his arrest and the university released a statement that read in part: “After a recently returned grand jury indictment, Kentucky State Police on Wednesday arrested a Transylvania employee on a charge stemming from a McCreary County investigation prior to their employment.
The individual has been employed at Transylvania as a peace officer since November 2021.
While our legal system presumes that every person accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty, the university must also act in the best interests of its community. Given the seriousness of the charge in this case and the position of trust this individual holds on campus, the employee has been suspended without pay through the judicial process. Additionally, Transylvania’s Department of Public Safety immediately suspended the individual’s status as a sworn police officer.”
In July of 2019, while working as a McCreary County Deputy, Watkins responded to a call for a status check and was shot by Mark Dungan. Watkins was flown to UT Medical Center in critical condition. Mark Dungan pled guilty on January 19, 2022 to seven counts related to the shooting and was sentenced March 2, 2022 to serve 40 years in prison.