QUEENSBURY — A backlog of child sex abuse cases has prompted a judge to postpone the trial of a local man accused of molesting two children at a day care facility where he worked.
David L. Saladin was supposed to stand trial in Warren County Court starting Tuesday on a five-count indictment that alleges he fondled two children at the home day care business where he worked in Queensbury in 2017 and 2018.
Instead, Paul R. Watkins, 49, of Warrensburg will stand trial on a two-count indictment that alleges he repeatedly sexually abused a child younger than the age of 12 with whom he was acquainted in Warrensburg. He has pleaded not guilty, and is awaiting a written ruling from Warren County Judge John Hall on the admissibility of statements he made to State Police officers who arrested him last October. A hearing was held on the statements earlier this month.
Watkins is free pending further court action, and is being represented by Julie Garcia and Marc Zuckerman.
Zuckerman said Watkins is adamant he didn’t sexually abuse the child or break any laws. He said State Police questioned his client for 8 hours, but he maintained he didn’t do what he was accused of doing.
“There are a lot of issues to this case,” Zuckerman said
The case is being prosecuted by Warren County assistant district attorneys Ben Smith and Travis Brown.
Watkins faces up to 7 years in prison on the felony count.
Saladin’s case is now scheduled for trial starting on Sept. 9.
The 49-year-old Hudson Falls resident has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges of first-degree sexual abuse and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He is accused of molesting one 6-year-old girl on two occasions and a 4-year-old once when helping care for the children in the basement of the home used by Child Care at Willow’s Bend. He was fired after the allegations were made.
A pre-trial hearing was held July 16, and lawyers were awaiting a ruling on the admissibility of the videotaped statement he gave to Warren County sheriff’s investigators. Police said he made admissions when questioned.
He is free on bail pending the start of jury selection, and is being represented by Bill Montgomery. He faces up to 7 years in state prison on each felony charge.