April 25, 2014
On Friday, former Boy Scout leader David Brian Watkins received a 30 year prison sentence for sex crimes against children.
Fifty-year-old Watkins pleaded guilty 36 charges back in January.
He was originally facing more than 70 charges, including forcible sodomy, statutory rape, and taking indecent liberties with a child.
The sentencing judge heard two very different accounts of his character.
According to witnesses for the defense, Watkins was a generous, caring leader, dedicated to the community and giving back. Witnesses described him as a child at heart, one of the most generous people they had known, responsible and caring.
But Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Darby Lowe told of a darker side.
She described Watkins as a manipulator that used his position in the community and his leadership role in the scouts to take advantage of the boys. She asked the judge to sentence him to 30 years, and not a minute less.
“The innocence and vulnerability of the children, the fact that he was there trusted scout leader, that the community, the parents, the children, all of them trusted him…and his lack of remorse. He actually tried to blame the victim. He blamed them and the arguments of council sort of blamed them. I think the judge recognized that that doesn't show any recognition of his crime and continues to make him dangerous."
The abuse dated back to his time as scout leader between 2002 and 2008.
Below is a statement from the family of one of the victim’s in the David Watkins case. They wanted to share this message with the community:
"We wish to express our heartfelt thanks and deepest gratitude to the Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney's office and to the Albemarle County Police and Detectives who worked passionately and tirelessly to bring this dangerous predator, David Brian Watkins, aka "Scoutmaster Dave", to justice. We are indebted to them for their compassion, their fundamental decency, and their unwavering professionalism. Our son bravely stood up and accepted his civic duty to report the heinous crimes against him. We are proud, grateful and in awe of his efforts and the efforts of the outstanding and honorable women and men of our county who, together, built a case that would remove this dangerous sexual predator from society.
"We are hopeful that our son's willingness to come forward and report the crimes against him will make it easier for other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report the crimes against them. We know that reporting these crimes can be traumatizing and a form of secondary, ongoing victimization. We have been overwhelmed with the care, respect and sensitivity afforded to our son and to our family by every member of Albemarle County's working teams.
"Our brave son and these brave and caring individuals put a monster behind bars.
"Please take a moment to consider the prevalence of sexual crimes. Please don't allow yourself to think that you and your family are immune from sexual abuse and predation. The prevalence of sexual abuse against minors is staggering. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of eighteen. Most of these crimes will be committed by someone known to the child.
"One in four girls. And one in six boys. Please share these statistics and help start a simple campaign of discussion to educate others about the prevalence of child sexual abuse. Mending a culture of rape will require, above all, awareness and honest dialog.
"Education, communication and prevention are essential. Talk to your kids. Ask your kids if anything unusual has happened to them. Please help work to better educate our families and children about grooming and other identifiable predatory behaviors. And please help to pressure institutions into more sensible policies that take an aggressive approach to protecting our children rather than a focused effort to protect themselves, the institutions.
"For questions and concerns and contributions, please see the SARA website at http://www.sexualassaultresources.org and the SARA 24-Hour Hotline (434) 977-7273. Please see the Piedmont CASA website at http://www.pcasa.org. Volunteer your time and money to stop abuse and neglect.
"For information about how to educate your family about sexual predators please see the Stop it Now organization at http://www.stopitnow.org."