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William Lee Watson

Morris man accused of assaulting 19-year-old from Alexandria

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A 46-year-old Morris man faces two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct following an alleged weekend incident involving a 19-year-old from Alexandria.

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William Lee Watson was charged with third-degree and fourth degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly sexually assaulting a victim who was mentally impaired or helpless.

Watson made his first appearance in Stevens County District Court on Tuesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for 11:15 a.m., April 21.

Watson faces 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine for the third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, and 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 for the fourth-degree charge.

Watson was taken to Kandiyohi County Jail and has been released on bond, according to a jail staffer.

According to a complaint filed April 13 in Stevens County District Court, the alleged victim was in Morris on April 10 attending a party at a residence. The alleged victim admitted consuming "a lot of alcohol," and meeting a man known as "Billy."

According to the complaint, there was a minor altercation at the party involving the alleged victim and that Watson accompanied the person away from the garage where the party took place. The alleged victim stated remembering crossing a yard, continuing down an alley and arriving at Billy's house.

The alleged victim fell asleep at the house and stated in the complaint that, upon waking, Watson was sexually assaulting the alleged victim.

The alleged victim ran from the home naked and told police about then waking up laying on a floor in an unknown residence. The alleged victim then returned to Watson's house, retrieved clothing and later returned to a residence in Alexandria.

At about 9:30 a.m. on April 11, the alleged victim reported receiving a text message from Watson in which Watson admits to the sexual encounter. The two had exchanged phone numbers at the party, supposedly because of a mutual interest in boxing, according to the complaint.

Watson and the alleged victim exchanged several other text messages.

The alleged victim called Morris police on April 11 about the incident, and then was contacted by Alexandria police to undergo forensic sexual assault testing.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Watson's house seeking a missing piece of clothing belonging to the alleged victim and the mobile phone used to send and receive text messages. Police took two other mobile phones from the residence.

In the complaint, Watson stated that he helped the alleged victim to the house and that after sleeping briefly, the alleged victim forced sexual contact on Watson, who also claimed that the sex was consensual.

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The Morris Sun Tribune and the Echo Press are owned by Forum Communication Company.

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