The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 24, 2013

Watson sex abuse trial not scheduled this week

By Jean Cole
jean@athensnews-courier.com

— The trial of a former Madison police officer is not scheduled to be heard this, Limestone District Attorney Brian Jones said today.

Jones said that contrary to some media reports today, jury selection in the trial of William Dale Watson was not scheduled to begin today and was not delayed as a result of more possible victims. He said the case had already been moved to the fall because older cases are pending

The trial is tentatively set for Nov. 18, but that date could change as the trial nears, Jones said.

Watson was indicted by a grand jury in January on 13 felony counts of sexual abuse of a child under age 12 and with four misdemeanor counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a child under age 16. The charges involve four alleged victims.

In March, Watson pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of sexual abuse involving girls under age 12 and 16.

The charges involve multiple girls whom Watson knew.

He remains free on bail of $300,000.

If convicted, Watson faces a minimum sentence of 10 years on each of the felony charges and from zero to 1 year on the misdemeanor charges.

Watson, who was placed on administrative leave after his initial arrest, resigned last August last year. He had been in law enforcement 13 years.