One of Texas' most wanted sex offenders captured in Stephenville

E-T staff report

AUSTIN — One of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders is back in custody.

Joseph Darwin Watson, of Hamilton, was captured on Aug. 18 in Stephenville, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety.


Watson, 52, was arrested by Stephenville police. Working off investigative information, they located and arrested Watson at an apartment complex, the release states.

He was added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender List on Aug. 4. Watson is a high-risk sex offender who is required to register every three months for life. He’s been wanted since October 2020, when a warrant was issued for his arrest in Hamilton County for failure to comply with registration requirements, according to the DPS release.

In 1994, he was convicted in Llano County of two counts of aggravated sexual assault involving a 5-year-old boy. In 2000, he was convicted in Hamilton County of failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. He was then released from a TDCJ prison in 2005, the release states.

In 2009, Watson was convicted of sexual assault involving a 47-year-old woman in Milam County and received a 10-year sentence in a TDCJ prison. He was discharged in 2018 and was registered as a sex offender in Hamilton.

Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted fugitives or sex offenders. So far this year, DPS and other agencies have arrested 13 of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, including four gang members and seven sex offenders. In addition, $20,500 in rewards have been paid for tips that have yielded arrests, according to the news release.

Watson's capture was not due to a Crime Stoppers tip, so no reward was paid.

To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of the following methods:

• Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

• Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, then clicking on the link under their picture.

• Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).

All tips are anonymous — regardless of how they are submitted — and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.