Teen sentenced to 25 years for child sex abuse

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - An 18-year-old Gautier man will spend the next 25 years in prison for sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl in 2011. Deseantez Watkins pled guilty Thursday to one count of sexual battery. Prosecutors said the incident happened in February of 2011.

"This defendant, although young, showed a cruel propensity for hurting children," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "The 25 year, day for day sentence, protects the children in this community for many years."

Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced Watkins to a total of 30 years in prison - 25 years will be served day for day, while the remainder will be served under Post Release Supervision. Watkins must also pay a $1000 fine, court costs, $250 to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund, and a $1000 mandatory assessment to the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund. He's also allowed no contact with the victim, and must register as a sex offender.

"The victim should be commended for her bravery in standing up against her abuser," Assistant District Attorney Angel Myers said. "She demonstrated such poise, grace and courage in coming forward and stopping her abuse. It is a privilege to have been part of the team that helped get this child justice today."

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