Watkins gets 30 years for child sex abuse, victim’s family speaks out

Former Boy Scout troop leader and Keswick resident David Watkin. Photo courtesy Albemarle County Police. Former Boy Scout troop leader and Keswick resident David Watkin. Photo courtesy Albemarle County Police.

The former Albemarle County Boy Scout leader who pleaded guilty in January to a long list of sex crimes against children will serve 30 years in prison—just a few months shy of the maximum possible sentence.

David Brian Watkins, 50, was sentenced Friday in Albemarle County Circuit Court. According to a report from NBC29, the defense called Watkins’ daughter and two of his former scouts to testify on his behalf, but the prosecutor pushed for the maximum sentence, citing Watkins’ insistence that the sex acts with boys between the ages of 13 and 15 were consensual. Watkins made statements to that effect in court Friday, according to the report.

The family of one of Watkins’ victims released a lengthy statement via the Albemarle County Police Department praising the work of police and prosecutors in putting Watkins away, and calling on members of the community to be more aware of sexual abuse and predation. The statement is included below in its entirety.

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.