Probation with numerous conditions is the sentence for a onetime supervisor at a substance-abuse and corrections residence in St. Paul who carried on a monthslong sexual relationship with one of the inmates.
Karen M. Watson, 28, of Minneapolis, was sentenced last week in Ramsey County District Court to 10 years’ supervised probation after pleading guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with her many liaisons with a 26-year-old resident of RS Eden on W. 7th Street spanning from January 2016 to mid-April.
Watson’s sentence requires that she register as a predatory offender for at least 10 years, attend classes about personal boundaries, hold no position of authority over vulnerable adults and have no contact with the victim in this case.
The presumptive sentence for this offense includes prison time, but Judge Richard Kyle “followed probation’s recommendation for a dispositional departure here and found several factors that supported the departure,” said Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the county attorney’s office, “most notably, [Watson’s] particular amenability to probation. ... Watson got a lengthy probationary period, and significant probationary terms.”
Kyle’s sentencing also allows for what is called a “stay of imposition,” meaning that Watson can have the felony conviction on her record reduced to a misdemeanor if she complies with the terms of her probation.
Watson and the resident first had sex at Regions Hospital, where he was being treated for sickle cell anemia, according to the criminal complaint. They also had sex at the residence and in her car, the complaint continued.
She gave him money to buy a phone, allowing him to record them having sex at the hospital on video, according to the court document.
Watson was fired from RS Eden, which contracts for its services with federal, state and county corrections agencies. Her duties included supervising inmates, and maintaining security and sanitation, the complaint read.