GALVESTON

A Galveston Police Department officer was charged Tuesday with two felony crimes related to child sexual abuse, the Galveston Police Department said.

Dion Watson, 50, of Galveston, was charged with two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, the department announced just before 7 p.m.

The statement did not describe the abuse or identify the victim. It referred questions about the investigation to the Galveston County’s Sheriff’s Office.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Tuesday evening that he did not have all of the details of the investigation available to him and expected more information to be released Wednesday.

Under Texas law, indecency with a child by sexual contact is defined as engaging in sexual contact with child under the age of 17. The charge can also be filed against people who expose themselves to a child, or who cause a child’s genitals to be exposed, as a means of arousal or sexual gratification.

The sheriff’s office began investigating Watson in February after being contacted by the Galveston Police Department, which had received a complaint against Watson, Capt. Joshua Schirard said.

Watson was placed on administrative leave Feb. 4 and remains on leave now that charges have been filed, Schirard said.

Watson has worked at the Galveston Police Department since 2001, Schirard said.

Watson turned himself in at the sheriff’s office Tuesday evening, Trochesset said.

He was no longer listed as being in custody at the Galveston County Jail as of 7:26 p.m. Tuesday. His bond amount was not immediately available.

Watson is the third Galveston Police Department officer to be charged with a felony in 25 months.

In February 2018, officer John Rutherford was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, misuse of official information and tampering with physical evidence amid accusations he used his position as a police officer to help an alleged local drug dealer avoid arrest.

No trial date has been set for the charges against Rutherford.

In January 2017, former officer Michael Andrews was charged with felony drug possession after an undercover sting involving steroids. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in August 2017.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

Senior Reporter

(13) comments

Josette Birdow

I hope and pray this is not true. I graduuwoyh Dion from high School. Not sure of the details but I pray for him and his family.

Josette Birdow

Graduated

Josette Birdow

Graduated with Dion

Josette Birdow

Prayers for the victim and their family.

Kelly Naschke

I graduated in the same class and am hoping the same. Until the facts are proven, the court of public opinion should keep their mouths shut. Ask Brett Kavanaugh how that works....

Susan Gorrell

I know this man personally and believe in his innocence and public opinion need to keep to themselves. This is applauding that this fine man and police officer is being falsely accused.

Gonzalo Gonzalez

I'm sure it's not what you meant, but your last sentence reads as "I'm applauding he's being falsely accused." You might want to consider proofreading a little bit better. Just a thought.

Rusty Schroeder

Think she meant appalling.

Gonzalo Gonzalez

Good observation, thanks.

Susan Gorrell

Darn autocorrect on my phone

George Croix

Nowadays, one needs to carry around a large salt shaker and take everything with a grain or two of it until any initial reports cease being allegations and turn into actual facts.

Christy Callahan

I would like to see this same concern for protecting people’s privacy and right to due process applied to civilians who are charged with felony crimes. The extremely heinous nature of the charges in this case make it particularly a matter of public concern.

To those who think that this man “didn’t do nothing” just because he’s a police officer, are you trying to say that the sheriff’s office is inept? Do you think that they failed to thoroughly investigate such serious allegations before they filed FELONY charges against a fellow LEO?

So you either support this one cop, or you support two entire police departments.

George Croix

We COULD simply be supporting due process......it's supposed to apply to all, no matter their position or occupation...
Sometimes, it actually does.......
Especially in more recent times, serious accusations and charges have been brought against people later determined to be innocent....
The guilty should be punished, especially, imo, abusers of children or the elderly.....
Unfortunately, the innocent are also punished....for the rest of their lives...

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