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(JAMAICA GLEANER) – The case against Keron Watson, the St James man who was arrested and charged with breaches of the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2017, has been set for a plea and case-management hearing to take place in the St James Circuit Court on April 23.
Watson, who allegedly used social media to lure an 18-year-old girl into committing sexual acts for money, under the guise that he was a talent scout for models, was given the new court date and had his bail extended by presiding High Court Judge Glen Brown when he appeared in court last Friday.
Prosecutor Yanique Gardener recommended a plea and case-management hearing to the court to confer with Watson’s lawyer, Henry McCurdy, on what evidence would be presented at the defendant’s trial.
“I have reviewed this file for some time, and I am of the view that this matter would benefit from a plea and case-management hearing. I will also have this file assigned to a member of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit so that it can get special attention,” said Gardener.
Allegations are that in January 2017, Watson conned the complainant into believing he was a talent scout and invited her to his home under the guise that he would provide a modelling opportunity for her. He subsequently held her there against her will and had her perform various sexual acts with different men for a fee, which he pocketed.
After he released the woman, Watson reportedly threatened to blackmail her with videos he had made of her in the various sexual acts. The matter was reported to the police and he was arrested in April that year, following a raid at his home.
Watson was also charged with illegal possession of ammunition after a 9mm cartridge was seized during the same raid. He pleaded guilty to that charge, and on May 15, 2019, he was ordered by the St James Parish Court to pay a fine of $30,000 or spend three months in prison.
Following Watson’s initial arrest, Senior Superintendent of Police Marlon Nesbeth, who headed the St James Police Division at the time, issued a warning to young people, especially girls and young women, not to fall prey to bogus ‘talent searchers’ who they meet online or in person.