After a teacher from a school district in New York was convicted of molesting elementary school children, he got his proposed sentence of 35 years behind bars slashed to just eight years following an appeal to a higher court. The teacher, 48-year-old Simon Watts, was found to have abused children while he was at his desk at the front of the classroom but has since gotten his jail sentenced lowered after the appeal court found that the first trial had “erroneously permitted the introduction of highly prejudicial alleged uncharged complaints” as evidence into the courtroom.
Before the criminal charges were brought against him, and he was convicted as a child diddler, Watts’s family considered him “Mr. Perfect.” And as he was sentenced on Thursday inside the Queens County Criminal Court, he looked quite depressed that he would be serving a large chunk of his life behind bars for getting caught doing the unthinkable to children in his care.
Watts served as a teacher at Jackie Robinson Elementary School in Queens until he faced criminal charges in 2010. The charges spanned the gamut and included a number of items related to child sex offenses. He was found guilty of these charges in 2013 following a trial.
However, the prosecution told the jury during Watts’s trial that he used five elementary school students as his “personal sex toys,” which was a phrasing that put the sex offender in a bad light, according to his defense lawyers.
Investigators also claimed, “he molested (several of) the children at his desk while fellow students sat in the classroom.”
At the time of the abuse, the victims were between the ages of eight and nine. One student said they were abused “every day” between December 2007 until June 2009.
The victim told jurors that Watts “ejaculated onto the floor and used hand sanitizer and a tissue to clean it up.”
Jurors found him guilty on all eleven counts of which he was charged. The New York City judge saw it fit to lock away the child molester for 35 years. But now the appeals court has changed their tune.
One of Watts’s victims successfully sued the Department of Education and the City of New York for $16 million in 2018. That sum was eventually reduced and settled at $4 million. The victim was just eight when she was molested by Watts between 2007 and 2009.
While this was going on, the state appellate court was sent back to Queens Supreme Court after it found “the judge presiding at the (initial) jury trial allowed prosecutors to question witnesses about complaints that were not part of the original indictment,” which prejudiced the jury against the defendant.
Because of the judge’s decision to allow this, the child molester’s sentence was reduced to just eight years behind bars.
What do you think about the court’s decision to lessen the punishment for this child molester? Should his sentenced have been reduced?