Police, Fire, Courts

June 19, 2013

Admitted rapist faces prison time

MALONE — A Massena man who admitted this week that he had sex with a girl who was younger than 18 will be sentenced in Franklin County Court in August.

Jewel Watkins Sr., 42, of Hatfield Street pleaded guilty to third-degree rape this week before County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 19.

Watkins had served almost 18 months in prison for having sex with the same girl in 2002.

He was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison for third-degree rape in April 2002 and released on parole in November 2003, according to the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website.  

Watkins was indicted by a grand jury in November 2012 on charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child.

District Attorney Derek Champagne said State Police “felt something was amiss” when they came upon a vehicle in the Tupper Lake area last June and saw a girl inside with a man in his 40s.

Upon investigating, they determined there was an outstanding order of protection against Watkins to stay away from the teen.

He was arrested on the rape count and endangerment charges and held in County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 insurance bond.

Watkins could have faced a maximum of four years in state prison as a second-felony offender, but a plea agreement will recommend a sentence of not more than 2½ years for the most serious count against him.

He will have to register as a sex offender, and an order of protection will again be sought to keep him from contacting the girl.

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