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State dismisses charge against former Oceanside guidance counselor

By Stephen Betts | Jul 02, 2019
Video by: File photo

Rockland — A charge against a former Oceanside High School guidance counselor who was accused of failing to report a suspected case of abuse has been dropped.

The charge of failing to report suspected abuse or neglect filed last year against Susan J. Watts, 61, of Tenants Harbor, was dismissed June 21 in Knox County Court.

The dismissal came after a six-month contractual agreement reached between the defense and District Attorney's Office.

According to papers filed in court, Knox County Detective Justin Twitchell issued a summons to Watts April 30, 2018. The alleged offense had occurred March 16, 2018, when a female student had reported to Watts that the girl's former boyfriend had harassed and raped her throughout the time they were together.

Watts' attorney, Jonathan Goodman, of Portland, had asked for the case to be dismissed, saying Watts did not believe the allegation and had told a c-worker she did not believe the female student. In addition, he pointed out that the former boyfriend was not charged as a result of a subsequent investigation by the Sheriff's Office.

The contractual agreement, signed in December 2018 with the state, required that Watts not commit any offenses during the ensuing six months and that she pay a $150 administrative fee.

Watts also completed five hours of training on law and ethics through the American School Counselor Association before entering into the agreement.

She would have been fined $500 if she had not met terms of the agreement.

Watts is no longer Oceanside's guidance counselor, but is employed as a fifth-grade teacher at Ash Point Community School in Owls Head. She has been teaching for 31 years, 27 of those with the district.

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