Austin man pleads guilty to felony criminal sexual conduct charge in Mower County District Court

An Austin man who sexually groomed a child under the age of 13 that he had repeated contact with, both in person and over the phone from May 1st through September 8th of 2023 is pleading guilty in Mower County District Court.

At a hearing Monday, 51-year old James Ray Watkins was convicted after pleading guilty to a felony charge of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct, contact with a minor under the age of 14, actor more than 36 months older.  Watkins had initially pleaded not guilty on September 25th, 2023 to not only the felony 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct charge, but also to a felony charge of distributing via electronic communication material that relates or describes sexual conduct to a child.  

Sentencing in the case for Watkins in Mower County District Court has been scheduled for June 6th.