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Prosecutor: mother harassed witness in sex case

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 4:21 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 11:08 p.m. CST

WOODSTOCK – A judge denied a bond reduction for a woman accused of goading her daughter into changing statements the child made in a pending sex case.

Amber D. Watson, 33, of Spring Grove has been in custody since Dec. 17. She is charged with harassing a witness.

Prosecutors say Watson threatened her daughter – who is the alleged victim in the state’s case against Pablo Torres – to retract the statements she previously made to police.

Torres, 55, is accused of having sexual contact with the 12-year-old girl. He was Watson’s live-in boyfriend. Watson, prosecutors said, told the girl that if she didn’t take back her statement, she “wouldn’t see the light of day,” or family members, and Watson threatened to take away the girl’s Christmas.

“It doesn’t get a whole lot more revolting than what Ms. Watson did to her child,” Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Zalud said in Thursday’s bond hearing.

McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham rejected Watson’s request to lower her bond from $40,000.

Watson’s attorney argued that she had no prior criminal history and would reside in the county if released.

Torres was charged in August with three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, all Class X felonies, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He remains in McHenry County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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