Cass County man convicted of molesting female relative at farm

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CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — A 67-year-old southwestern Michigan man who authorities say sexually assaulted a girl for seven years at a rural farm have been convicted in the case.

The Kalamazoo Gazette and WLKM-FM report Leon Watson of Vandalia was convicted by a jury in Cass County on Tuesday of charges including first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Sentencing is May 13 and he faces at least 25 years in prison.

Watson denied any wrongdoing.

Authorities say the girl was 7 years old when the assaults began in 2007 and about 14 when they ended after she confided to friends and a school counselor. She testified during the trial about the assaults, which authorities say took place at his farm.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz said that the verdict “brings true comfort to a brave young girl.”

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