Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Sex Charges

Police say Kelly McKenzy Watson, an Oceanside High School teacher, allegedly had a sexual relationship with a student when she taught at New Haven residential school in Vista.

A 34-year-old special-education high school teacher, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her 17-year-old former students, pleaded not guilty today to felony charges.

Kelly McKenzy Watson—who is free on $45,000 bail—faces up to three years in state prison if convicted of one count each of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a minor.


Judge David Szumowski ordered Watson to stay away from the alleged victim in the case, but the specific allegations against her were not discussed in open court.

Watson's attorney, Paul Wallin, told reporters his client is not guilty of any crime.

"Kelly Watson is the only victim in this case," Wallin said. "The young man involved in this case—for any who will speak to him—will tell you that no sexual wrongdoing occurred between Kelly and the young man."

The mother of the alleged victim has asked that the charges be dropped, Wallin told reporters.

The defense attorney said Watson has been a highly respected special- education teacher for the past seven years.

"In all that time, she has provided the highest level of excellence to her students, and she has never been accused of any sort of inappropriate conduct in the entire time she's been teaching," Wallin said.

The fact that Watson's name has been broadcast in the media has already caused "irreparable injury," the attorney said.

"When someone is accused of sexual misconduct with a student these days in 2012, it is impossible to not have your reputation destroyed," Wallin said. "Specifically, when a teacher is accused of a sex offense, the media goes nuts because they know they can get high ratings. Unfortunately, when the charges are dropped, the media is not often around."

Watson was arrested Aug. 9 on suspicion of sexually assaulting the boy, who she met when he was a student in her class at the New Haven residential school in Vista, said Lt. Anastasia Smith of the San Diego Police Department.

The lieutenant said Watson was the boy's teacher at New Haven for several semesters from September 2010 until August 2011. New Haven works with troubled and at-risk teens.

San Diego police sex crimes detectives received a tip on July 30 about alleged inappropriate conduct between Watson and the former student and later determined she had an inappropriate dating relationship with the boy several months ago, Smith said.

Watson, who had since begun teaching at Oceanside High School, will be back in court Sept. 26 for a readiness conference and Nov. 7 for a preliminary hearing.

She was placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the case.

—City News Service

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jane doe August 21, 2012 at 04:18 PM
of course this young kids is going to say nothing happened... he still loves her and he thinks when this blows over he is going back to her!!! The mother wants the charges dropped because she dosen't want to go to jail for feeding him to this child molester!!! come on now if this was a 17 year old girl and a 34 year old man.... OH HOW ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOSE!!! Give me a break ...
ms.sc. August 22, 2012 at 04:24 AM
jane doe, why would the mother be facing jail? How could she be "feeding" him to this child molestation? I hope the truth comes out for all involved so that justice is served.
jane doe August 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM
ms.sc... because she let him move in with her... she packed all his little close and drove him there... "because he loved her"... And she dosen't want to deal with all his problems he has at home...
jane doe August 23, 2012 at 03:14 PM
@ ms.sc... she would face jail time... becaus she is the one who packed his little bags and drove him over to her house to live.. because "he loves her"... she just dosen't want to be a mom and deal with him and his problems at home... so she sent him there.
jane doe August 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM
this is the truth.... i know first hand
Jamie Shaheri November 14, 2012 at 02:37 AM
jane doe hhaa i no keely watson she was my teacher and this kid named anthony had lied about his age being 18 later try to manipulate her into believing this which wasn't true i know her this year for high school she was like my teacher when had problems i would talk to her she just got in a divorce after 22years and her husband didn't want kids so this kid named anthony lied about his age saying he was sorry and I'm legal would u wanna date me so i could make you feel better thats his exact words this kid LIED ABOUT HIS AGE KELLY WATSON MADE SO MANY DOnATIONS SHE IS NOT GUILTY i know the TRUTH I AM HER FORMER STUDENT WELL WAS at OCEAN SIDE HIGH SCHOOL AND I NEW students from NEW HAVEN
Concerned Parent November 28, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Jamie...it really doesn't matter if he LIED, she is the adult in this situation and if she really wanted to know all she had to do was take a look at his school records or maybe as simple as asking for his ID. If she's so innocent then why is she pregnant with his child? At least that is what he is bragging about. Being her student doesn't mean you know her or what she is capable of.


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