06/23/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Baltimore, MD – A Baltimore school police officer who worked for Masonville Cove Community Academy was found guilty Tuesday, June 22, 2010, of sexually abusing a 16-year-old female student in his office at the school, as reported by The Baltimore Sun. Sentencing is scheduled for August 16.
Baltimore Circuit Judge Gale E. Rasin found Reginald Watson guilty of sexual abuse of a minor, fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault for the incident that occurred in February 2009. The judge reported that she believed the witness testimony.
Watson is currently free on $50,000 bond. He faces up to 26 years in prison total: 15 years for sexual abuse of a minor, 10 years for the second-degree assault charge and one year for the fourth-degree sex offense.
The victim took the stand in the first day of trial to give her account of what happened in February last year. She told the court that Watson took her into his office to watch the movie “Lean on Me.” She reported that he bought Pop-Tarts and a soda to snack on during the movie.
She explained that during the movie, Watson expressed the desire to perform sexual acts with her. When she tried to leave, he reportedly grabbed her hands and groped her.
Watson worked for the school for four years prior to taking a leave of absence in April 2009. He was the only defense witness in the case and he told the court that he brought her into his office because he suspected she was under the influence of marijuana.
The judge also reprimanded school officials for their handling of the situation. The principal and a guidance counselor gave inconsistent testimony on how they responded to the initial report of assault.
Rasin stated, “It was a violation of what a student should expect from a school…I found it, frankly, shocking.”
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