Jury finds West Warwick man guilty of 2021 first-degree sexual assault

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha today announced that a West Warwick man has been found guilty in Kent County Superior Court of committing first-degree sexual assault against a female victim in West Warwick in 2021.


On December 14, following a three-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos, David Waters (age 29) was found guilty of one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of cyberstalking and cyberharassment.


The defendant is currently being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) pending a sentencing hearing to be scheduled on a later date.


“The victim’s decision, in this case, to bravely confront the defendant demonstrates the powerful impact of victim testimony. It isn’t always easy to come forward, but often it helps bring criminals to justice,” said Attorney General Neronha. “The defendant here committed a terrible act of sexual violence and then used that criminal act to harass the victim and inflict further trauma upon her, actions that are deserving of a significant jail sentence. I am enormously grateful to this victim, as well as the West Warwick Police Department for their outstanding work in this case and so many others.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on July 12, 2021 the defendant sexually assaulted a female victim, who was known to him, and subsequently cyberharassed her on August 28, 2021.


Following the sexual assault, the defendant sent the victim hundreds of text messages. Many of the text messages referenced the sexual assault and some included threats of harm against the victim and her family.


“Cases involving sexual assault are some of the most difficult cases investigated by the men and women of West Warwick Department. Our thoughts remain with the victim and her loved ones at this time,” said West Warwick Police Colonel Ernest Lavigne. “I am proud of the work of our team in bringing the defendant to justice in this case, and their work every day to keep the residents of West Warwick safe.”


Special Assistant Attorney General Devon Flanagan of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Joseph Souliere and Christopher Maznicki of the West Warwick Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.