Local

Repeat sex offender charged with exposing himself to children in Orange County

WINTER PARK, Fla. — A 40-year-old man who has been a registered sex offender since 1999 has been arrested and charged with exposing himself to a group of children three days after being released from jail.

Jermetras Watson has been accused of exposing himself to women and children in Central Florida at least 17 times in the past 10 years, court records show.

He was recently released from jail after more than a year for exposing himself at a park and violating his probation, police said.

Three days after being released, a group of girls outside a Winter Park Shake Shack accused Watson of exposing himself to them, investigators said.

He was booked into the Orange County Jail on Sunday, officials said.

Police arrested Watson in a similar case outside of Audubon Park Elementary School where 10 children said they saw him lurking nearby, officials said.

Watson claimed the children saw someone else and mistook them for him.

In cases like this, claiming mistaken identity can be very effective, WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

“One of the most successful ways to defend a case is to poke holes in the children’s testimony,” Sheaffer said.

In the past, prosecutors have dropped charges against Watson, and worked out plea deals, and juries have convicted him and acquitted him on similar charges.

He is facing five counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and violation of probation.