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.