FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 30, 2017
COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that William Harvey Watson, 24, of Slidell, pleaded guilty as charged Monday (Nov. 27) to all charges, including sexual battery of a victim under 13, as well as 250 counts of possession of child pornography and 27 counts of production of child pornography of a victim under 13.
District Judge Reginald Badeaux sentenced Watson to 30 years in prison on the sexual battery charge and 25 years in prison on each of the other charges, with all of the sentences to be served at the same time.
In February of this year, when Watson was left briefly to babysit a 4-year-old girl, he touched her vagina in a sexual way, took off her clothes, and posed her for sexually explicit photos. He confessed to touching the girl and to having a sexually transmitted disease. The child’s mother became suspicious when she returned home after a short time away, found the door of her home unusually locked, and it took Watson several minutes to open the door. Once inside, the mother discovered her daughter’s clothing was disheveled and turned inside out. After questioning by the mother, the girl described what happened.
During its investigation, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office got a search warrant for Watson’s electronic devices, where they found 473 images and 10 videos of child pornography. A majority of the images and videos were identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as known child victims. All of the images and videos were of children under 13 and most were of children under age five.
Watson admitted to being sexually attracted to children and downloading the illegal material to attempt to satisfy those urges. While searching the computer, the Sheriff’s Office also found several pornographic images of an 8-month-old girl, whom Watson had posed for sexually explicit photos. During the investigation, Watson admitted to previously getting in trouble years earlier for sexually abusing an 18-month-old girl in Texas.
Assistant District Attorney Blair Alford, who prosecuted the case, and the victim’s family urged the court to give Watson the maximum possible sentences of 99 years in prison on the sexual battery and production of child pornography charges and 40 years on the possession of child pornography charges. After Badeaux sentenced Watson to a maximum of 30 years, Alford filed a motion, asking the judge to increase the sentence.