Man sentenced to over eight years for criminal sexual conduct with a child

Published 11:12 am Monday, June 10, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

An Austin man has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for second degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 12-year-old girl.

The sentence was handed down last Thursday in Mower County District Court to James Ray Watkins, who has a past conviction for molesting a toddler in 2013. In that case, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but was on probation at the time of this latest incident.

A second charge of distributing material relating to sexual conduct to a child was dismissed.

Email newsletter signup

According to the criminal complaint, Austin police were notified on Sept. 7, 2023, that the conduct had been perpetrated on the girl by Watkins. Throughout the course of the investigation it was determined that Watkins had given her snacks and money and had called and texted her several times and that the victim had told police that Waktins had instructed her to delete the messages.

Court documents also relate that Watkins had shared a sexually explicit video with the victim that included adults and a female child and that on another occasion, Watkins had touched the victim inappropriately. 

Watkins will serve his sentence at the Minnesota Department of Corrections facility in St. Cloud.