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A former Madison Police officer surrendered to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday after his indictment on 17 counts on sexual abuse.
William “Bill” Watson’s bail was set at $300,000.
Watson will be arraigned March 12 at the Limestone County Courthouse in Athens.
Investigators say they found four victims. Watson faces nine counts of sexually abusing a child under 12 involving three of the victims. The charges involving the fourth victim include four counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and four counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16.
Watson was placed on administrative leave. Police officials say he resigned from the department in August.
A trial date has not been set. Watson will go before a jury at the Limestone County Courthouse in Athens.
Watson’s arrest came as a shock to Madison residents.
A 13-year veteran of the Madison Police Department, Watson was fairly well known in the Madison area and had assisted in the past with youth organizations like the Madison Chapter of the Young Marines Program.
Bill Watson’s home on Burgreen Road in East Limestone County caught fire not long after the charges were announced back in August. State fire investigators called the fire suspicious, but did not say why.
Watson was in the hospital for undisclosed reasons at the time of that fire.
State fire investigators say the fire started in the basement of the home. The home was heavily damaged.