Owner of piercing shop in Sewickley accused of offering teen employee money for sex appears in court




  • In US
  • 2022-09-13 22:49:14Z
  • By WPXI
 

A small group of supporters rallied behind the 17-year-old girl who accused a Sewickley business owner of propositioning her for sex.

The case against Zachary Watson moved forward Wednesday after the owner of the Genisys Body Arts Piercing Shop waived his right to a preliminary hearing in district court.

"My client is still pleading not guilty. He still maintains his innocence," said defense attorney Sean Logue.

Watson faces charges of promoting prostitution, terroristic threats, and corruption of minors. He is accused of trying to have sex with a 17-year-old girl and making sexual advances.

A group identifying themselves as Watson's other victims didn't want to talk on camera, but they did tell Channel 11 it also happened to them.

"The standard of evidence is so low. Literally one person can show up in court and say that you did something, and if the DA office believes there is enough for the case to proceed, that mere pointing, making a quick accusation, that would fit the standard for a prima facie case," Logue said.

Prosecutors added a charge of sexual extortion but agreed to a deal with the defense to withdraw the "intimidation of witness charge."

"I think the DA and myself came to a good agreement. They withdrew the threat charge because there were no threats in this case," Logue said.

Channel 11 learned that Watson was a parent volunteer for the Quaker Valley Wrestling Association but is no longer affiliated. The organization sent us this statement:

"For one season, Mr. Watson was a parent volunteer for our youth wrestling  program. At the time, all relevant clearances were submitted for our stringent background checks required of all of our parent volunteers. Mr. Watson is no longer affiliated with our program in any capacity."

Watson will appear before a  judge next month in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

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