Man Who Brought Marshallese Boys To U.S. Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Crime

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A man who helped bring several Marshallese boys to the U.S. pleaded guilty Wednesday (Jan. 6) to interstate transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Shilo Watts, 40, of New Braunfels, Texas pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Court records show, in October 2012 agents with the Homeland Security Office in San Antonio, Texas began investigating the sexual abuse of a Marshallese boy living in Springdale.

Agents were able to determine Watts had lived in the Marshall Islands for several years and had helped bring several young Marshallese boys to the U.S., according to court documents. Interviews with the victim revealed Watts started sexually abusing him at a young age and continued to do so while he was living in Northwest Arkansas, court documents state.

The victim told agents that between 2008 and 2012, Watts would take him and other young men from Arkansas to a home in Texas and Watts had sexually abused the victim on at least one occasion while there.

Watts faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.