Fire Dept. Captain charged with sexually assaulting minor
Bryan Watson (Photo: Bennington Police)
BENNINGTON, Vt. - The Bennington Police Deparments says a Captain of the Bennington Rural Fire Department has been charged with assaulting a then 13-year-old girl.
25-year-old Bryan Watson is charged with felony sexual assault and repeated aggravated sexual assault of a minor for the incidents which allegedly occurred last summer. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division on Monday.
According to the Bennington Police Department, the then 13-year-old girl said Watson and her participated sexual activities more than 10 times during the summer of 2011.
The victim said she was introduced to Watson when her older sister, Watson's ex-girlfriend, was living with him at his parents' home on Chapel Road in Bennington.
"When Brian's girlfriend, the victim's sister, would go off to work she would be at home and Brian allegedly took advantage of that opportunity," Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said.
The victim would visit him in the basement of his parents' home, where she told police Watson would begin touching her and she would ask him to leave her alone. This occurrence would happen time after time, police say.
The girl told police one time she "decided not to tell him to stop" and Watson continued to inappropriately touch her. Other times, he would allegedly ask her to perform oral sex.
Chief Doucette said the allegations came to light when the girl's parents found out and alerted authorities.
Police say Watson admitted spending time alone with the girl, but denied anything inappropriate happened.
According to Doucette, a second volunteer fire fighter has turned himself in to police in connection with having sexual contact with the same victim. Police have not released any details on this case, as he has not been charged at this time.
Doucette says Watson has no criminal history and called him a "good fire fighter" and "someone the community relies on." He has been with the volunteer fire company for five years.
Watson was released without bail pending the weight of evidence hearing scheduled for December 27th.
His attorney said he has not had contact with the alleged victim since the report was made to police in November and he currently lives with his parents and fiancé, so is not a "flight risk."
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