CROWN CITY, OH (WOWK) — A Gallia County woman is facing a maximum prison sentence after being convicted in a child endangerment case.
Margerete Watson, 23, of Crown City, was sentenced to a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison for “Endangering Children with Serious Physical Harm Caused,” a felony of the second degree, according to Gallia County Prosecuting Attorney, Jason D. Holdren.
The prosecutor says Watson will be placed on post-release control and supervised by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority for three years after her release from prison.
“I want to thank the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and Gallia County Children Services for thoroughly and promptly investigating this matter to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable among us, our children,” Holdren said. “My office has, and will continue to take a hardline approach in these cases by holding child abusers accountable for their actions.”
The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and Gallia County Children Services responded to a call January 6, 2020, from hospital personnel regarding possible child abuse of a 6-week-old child.
Deputies said the victim, Watson’s infant child, suffered “significant injuries” including multiple bone fractures. According to Holdren’s office, Watson made multiple “untruthful statements” to law enforcement officials regarding how the injuries happened before admitting to striking the child and causing the injuries.
“My office investigates tragedies every day, but in investigations such as this, where defenseless infant children are harmed by the very people who are responsible for protecting them, it is purely heartbreaking,” Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin said. “I applaud my staff who worked so hard to ensure this investigation was thorough and complete. Further, I want to praise Prosecutor Holdren and his staff for their diligence in ensuring justice was served in this matter.”Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin