Alabama Policeman Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison For Sexually Abusing Children

Alabama – A former Madison policeman was sentenced this morning to spend 35 years in prison and a lifetime on the sex offender registry for molesting child relatives.

William “Woody” Watson, a 59-year-old former cop, was convicted in Limestone County earlier this year of multiple counts of sexual abuse. He was sentenced today by Circuit Judge Robert Baker.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this sentencing,” said District Attorney Brian Jones. “We think it send a clear message that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior in Limestone County.

“We also hope it gives the victims closure and helps them to move on with the rest of their lives,” Jones continued.

At trial, testimony showed Watson has sexually abused several family members when they were children, according to prosecutors.

“It was like he thought because he clothed and put a roof over their heads that he could do whatever he wanted,” Jones said. Another family member revealed sexual abuse by Watson while on the witness stand.

The judge also declared Watson to be a sexually violent predator, meaning he will face additional penalties after being released from prison, including probation and GPS monitoring for at least 10 years.

Watson initially was arrested in August 2012 when the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office was notified of abuse allegations. Watson was indicted on 17 charges the following year. The charges included sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 and abuse of a child between 12 and 16 years old.

Watson had been a patrolman with the Madison Police Department for 13 years when he was placed on leave in August 2012. He resigned before the agency could complete an investigation to decided whether to fire Watson.

Watson is being held in the Limestone County Jail, pending transfer to a state prison.