San Diego, CA — A California high school special education teacher has pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her 17-year-old former students.
Kelly McKenzy Watson pleaded guilty to the charges against her Thursday. She now faces a sentence ranging from probation to three years in state prison.
“It’s definitely a betrayal of a position of trust,” Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett said. “It’s just a very sad situation.”
Watson may also be required to register as a sex offender when she is sentenced on February 6.
Watson was arrested August 9 on suspicion of sexually assaulting the 17-year-old, who was a student in her class at a New Haven residential school from September 2010 until August 2011.
Lt. Anastasia Smith of the San Diego Police Department said they received a tip on July 30 about inappropriate conduct between Watson and the former student. They later determined that she had a dating relationship with the boy.
The 34-year-old transferred to Oceanside High School after leaving the New Haven Youth and Family Services facility, a residential school that specializes in helping boys with emotional and behavioral problems. Officers believed that Watson’s relationship with the boy started after she left the New Haven facility.
Lt. Smith, “They met when he was a student of hers, and they later forged a relationship which was inappropriate and illegal.”
Watson was arrested and placed on administrative leave from the high school, and was held at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility until she posted her $45,000 bond. She is still employed at Oceanside High School.