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Man pleads guilty for role in letting 7 kids live in squalor

Jermaine Watson (Dubuque County Jail)

An Iowa man accused of letting seven children live in a squalid home surrounded by garbage, rotten food and feces has pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges.

Court records say 34-year-old Jermaine Watson of Dubuque also pleaded guilty to four drug counts. He's scheduled to be sentenced July 18.

The children's mother, 34-year-old Tiesha Martin, pleaded not guilty to the same seven counts of child endangerment. Her trial is set to begin June 11. Authorities say Watson is the father of the youngest child.


The records say police and a social worker checking on the children at Martin's residence Jan. 2 found the squalid conditions and say the children were sharing just one bedroom and bed.

Martin has said officers lied about the conditions.

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