By Aaron Richardson
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. — A former Keswick Scoutmaster will spend 30 years in prison on 36 counts of carnal knowledge of a child between the ages of 13 and 15.
David Brian Watkins, 50, will serve 10 years each on three of the counts. At Watkins’ sentencing Friday, Albemarle County Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins suspended a total of 165 years on the remaining 33 charges.
Watkins, wearing a gray suit and sporting a goatee, sat expressionless through much of the sentencing proceedings. Watkins asked for leniency from the court just before Higgins took a 35-minute recess to read letters of support from Watkins’ daughter and two former Scouts.
“First and foremost, I would like to apologize for my involvement,” Watkins said. “It was never my intent to hurt anyone directly or indirectly.”
The 30-year active sentence was the result of Watkins’ plea deal, said Darby Lowe, Albemarle deputy commonwealth’s attorney. If the case had gone to trial, she said, Watkins could have faced multiple life sentences.
Authorities arrested him Nov. 28, 2012, after one of his victims walked into the Albemarle police station and reported years of abuse at his hands. Watkins originally was indicted on more than 70 sexual abuse charges. He pleaded guilty in January to 36 felony counts.
Lowe and Higgins questioned Watkins’ level of remorse, and whether he fully understood the effect his actions had on his victims.
Lowe read portions of a pre-sentencing report in which Watkins told authorities that one of his victims initiated sexual contact. He said he felt he had been raped by one of the victims.
“He blames a young boy for these horrific … offenses against him,” Lowe said.
Higgins expressed similar concerns.
“What is especially concerning to the court in this case is the lack of acknowledgement by the defendant,” she said before handing down the sentence.
Read more: The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress
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