Monday, October 6, 2008

William Watkins - Dressed in costumes - molests children

A plea hearing is scheduled on Monday for a man accused of abusing children. William Watkins, 53, was known for dressing up as the Grinch and Beetlejuice at a local haunted house. It's unclear where the alleged abuse took place.

Police found the costumed photographs at Watkins home and hoped releasing them would help bring more victims forward.

William Watkins, first popped up on police radar a couple years ago when a then 11-year-old girl accused him of sexual abuse. Then in December 2007, another girl came forward. Watkins was originally charged with first degree child molestation, possession of child pornography, and five counts of first degree statutory sodomy.

Since then, five new young victims have came forward. Watkins was charged with an additional eight new counts including three counts of first degree statutory sodomy, and five counts of first degree child molestation involving the girls under the age of 12.

Police said he dressed as Beetlejuice at a Metro haunted house, had several addresses in Independence and about four years ago moved his salon into his home.

Police said they pulled evidence including a computer containing child porn from the house, but they won't say what it is that makes them think Watkins has been hurting kids since 1982.

Watkins is scheduled to be in court Monday afternoon for a plea hearing.

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