RIVERSIDE (CBS) —  A homeless convicted sex offender who had intercourse with a teenage girl in his tent on multiple occasions was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison.

James Russell Watkins, 30, pleaded guilty on March 8 to one count of statutory rape in connection with an illicit encounter with a 17-year-old girl last July.

Watkins is being held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. He ould have faced nine years behind bars if he had been convicted by a jury.

Under a plea deal negotiated with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Watkins will not have to serve the maximum term. Riverside County Superior Court Judge J. Thompson Hanks handed down the five-year sentence today at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Watkins has a prior conviction for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, for which he served several years behind bars. He was on parole at the time of his latest arrest.

According to sheriff’s investigators, a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year- old girl — neither of whom were identified — met the defendant at a party in San Bernardino last summer. The girls began visiting him in Moreno Valley, where he lived in a tent behind a business near the intersection of Alessandro Boulevard and Day Street.

The girls stayed in the tent with him on several occasions, during which they all had intercourse, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by sheriff’s Investigator Duke Viveros.

Bizarrely, the 17-year-old told Viveros that her older sister was Watkin’s first victim, the  case that led to the defendant being convicted and sent to prison years before.

On July 31, the detective interviewed Watkins, who “admitted to having intercourse with the (17-year-old) about 15 minutes prior to being contacted by deputies,” according to the affidavit.

The defendant denied having sexual contact with the younger girl, and as he was being jailed, Watkins told the detective that he had “intercourse with the (17-year-old) five times the past couple of weeks, and said he and (the victim) are in love with each other,” Viveros wrote.

The 16-year-old girl was not named as a victim in the criminal complaint.

Watkins’ latest conviction will make him a two-strike felon.

Related Link: Convicted Sex Offender Arrested After Allegedly Assaulting 2 Teen Girls

 (©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (10)
  1. USC Trojan Girl says:

    Had sex with him 5 times! The parents should also get 5 years in prison for not knowing this was going on. He gets 5 years which means with good behavior he will be out in 2 1/2 years and I’m sure the girl loved it because after all she did voluntarily enter his tent 5 times so they will get together again in the near future.

    1. BIG JOHN says:

      he is white or can you not see or read

  2. jack says:

    I was appalled at the 5 year sentence til I read the story.

  3. Jerome McCollom says:

    What was the point of saying he was homeless? How is that relevent other than to bias those reading the story, against him? Frankly 5 years for conensual sex with someone one year away from being an adult seems very heavy handed. Indeed, even if the girl told him that she was 18, he probably couldn’t use it as a defense. Which is of course absurd.

  4. ILLEGALS says:

    The girls must be Junkies noh? What classy lady wants to have sex with a homeless man?????

    Unless he’s claiming he’s participating in the OCCUPY LA MOVEMENT OR OCCUPY RIVERSIDE MOVEMENT.. LoL

  5. Bob Henning says:

    Don`t say Meth is what makes Women easy and Available. All it took was a Little Vodka and a Joint to Make your Wife and Sister available to me.

  6. Mary says:

    Bizarrely…..? Why would you want to have sex with a man who was convicted of sexual abusing your sister when she was under 14 years old? Where were the parents of these young girls?

  7. PL says:

    white boyz are so dope

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

Weather Team
Goldstein Tipline

Watch & Listen LIVE