Two plead guilty to criminal sexual conduct

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Two individuals facing felony charges of criminal sexual conduct from different cases had plea hearings on Monday in Mower County District Court.

Jerome Anthony Watkins

Jerome Anthony Watkins, 31

Jerome Anthony Watkins, 31, of Austin has pleaded guilty to felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – significant relationship – victim under 16 years – and felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual contact – victim 13-15 – significant relationship – as part of a plea agreement. He initially pleaded not guilty on June 11, 2020.

Charges of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – position of authority, felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship – multiple acts, and felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual contact – victim 13-15 – position of authority – will be dismissed at the sentencing as part of the agreement.

Court documents state that a 16-year-old female reported in May 2020 that Watkins, who was known to her, had sexually abused her. The victim’s mother, who also knew Watkins, reported she had been told the abuse occurred several times when the victim was 13 and had happened again in June 2019.

The victim described the abuse to police, saying Watkins abused her about 5 or 6 times with incidents lasting anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.

Watkins denied the allegations, telling police he believed the victim was making up the story at the request of her mother.

A review of Watkins’ criminal record shows several convictions for domestic assault and violating domestic abuse no contact orders.

Watkins will be sentenced on Feb. 4.

Daniel Jim

Daniel Jim, 22

Daniel Jim, 22, of Rogers, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct – victim mentally impaired/helpless – as part of a plea agreement. He initially pleaded not guilty on May 20.

The charge was reduced from felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct – victim physically helpless – as part of the agreement.

Court documents state police were dispatched at 9:41 a.m. on May 2 to the 800 block of 21st Street Northeast on a report of a sexual assault. Officers spoke to an adult female, who appeared to be intoxicated, who said that at about 4 a.m., a juvenile female woke her up and said someone was trying to get into her window. She said she told the juvenile to lock her window and go back to bed. She said she woke up later and there was “a guy” in her bed, then disclosed that she was raped by the male, later identified as Jim.

The juvenile told police she was in the bathroom around 4 a.m. and heard her bedroom window open and someone coming in. She told the victim about the incident and the victim screamed, “Get the (expletive) out of my house!” The juvenile said they then checked her room and no one was there. She speculated that the person must have gone back out the window.

The juvenile indicated the victim was drunk and was drinking with four males, and she indicated she got “weird vibes” from one of the males, whom she described as a “fluffy hair guy” (Jim). Later in the morning, the juvenile heard the victim scream and she went to the victim’s room, where she saw the victim lying on the bed and Jim running out of the room with his shirt off. She said the victim reported that Jim had raped her.

Jim initially told police he was drunk and did not recall having sex with the victim. He then changed his story and said the sex was consensual.

Jim will be sentenced on Dec. 16.