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Austin man charged with sexually abusing minor

Jerome Anthony Watkins, 29, of Austin was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – position of authority, first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship, first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship – multiple acts, second-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – position of authority, and second-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship, all felonies, on Tuesday in Mower County District Court.

Jerome Anthony Watkins, 29

According to the court complaint, an officer was dispatched on May 30 to an Austin residence on a report that a 16-year-old female had disclosed to her mother that Watkins, who was known to both of them, had sexually abused her. The victim’s mother 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, which included inappropriate touching, to police. She said he 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 appear in court again on June 11.