• Deputies: Sex predator arrested after he was found living near Clay County school

    By: Katie McKee, Action News Jax


    Clay County deputies arrested a convicted sexual predator for living within 1,000 feet of a Middleburg school.

    Deputies say 39-year-old James Watson was living in a home 650 feet away from Wilkinson Junior High School.

    They say he had been living there approximately two weeks before they arrested him.

    According to the police report, Watson had asked to move in with a friend. However, that friend did not know that Watson was a sexual predator until went with him to change his address for an ID.

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    According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website, Watson was convicted of sexual battery by an adult to a child under 12 in 2012, and also sexual battery and solicitation of a child in 2011.

    Public record show that both of those charges came from Osceola County.

    Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said these new charges Watson is facing are serious.

    "The result is that it's a third-degree felony punishable up to five years, and may also under certain circumstances have a minimum mandatory sentence of perhaps two years, it's extraordinarily serious," said Carson. 

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