Sex offender off the streets
A repeat sex offender in Winter Park was found guilty last Friday of performing a sex act on himself near children, receiving a sentence of two years in jail followed by one year of probation.
Jermetras Watson, 39, was arrested last October by Winter Park Police after he was witnessed masturbating within 40 feet of children who were playing at the Azalea Lane tennis courts in Winter Park.
Watson has been a registered sex offender since 1999, when he was convicted of performing a sex act on a child under the age of 16 years old in St. Johns County, according to the Winter Park Police Department.
“It’s kind of a relief,” said Lt. Pam Marcum of the Winter Park Police Department. “We had repeated calls about him in different areas throughout our city and Maitland Police Department had the same type of cases with him.”
“It’s been a couple of years that we’ve been dealing with him on and off in different locations.”
According to Orange County Clerk of Court records, Watson pled guilty to misdemeanor counts of trespassing within a school safety zone twice in January of last year. In May, he was arrested for allegedly conducting a lewd act in front of a child, and in October was arrested in Winter Park for exposure of sexual organs. Then most recently, he was arrested again by Winter Park Police in November 2015 charged with loitering within close proximity of children.
The sex offender was previously suspected of flashing a woman in Baldwin Park, and Marcum recalled another incident with Watson occurring near St. Margret Mary Catholic School.
“Protecting the children in our community is one of greatest responsibilities we bare as a police department,” Cpt. Jeffrey Biles of the Winter Park Police Department wrote in a released statement. “Mr. Watson brought fear to the parents of these children and we received multiple complaints and concerns from our citizens about his illegal actions. The judgment and subsequent civil detention of Mr. Watson should certainly make our city safer for the duration of his sentence.”