A formal charge of second-degree sexual assault has been brought against Charles Hank Hawkins, 45, of Greenbrier.
Hawkins, formerly the assistant chief at Cato Volunteer Fire Department, was arrested and held without bond beginning Dec. 11 after parents of a six-year-old male told police their son told them Hawkins hurt him while touching the child’s buttocks.
The parents provided other information about their son’s behavior that provided suspicion that Hawkins had inappropriately touched the child in a sexual way, according to a Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
Hawkins was arrested and held on a potential charge of rape of a person under the age of 14.
"At this time, we believe the evidence warrants a formal charge of Sexual Assault in the Second Degree pursuant to A.C.A. 5-14-125," said Cody Hiland, 20th Judicial District prosecuting attorney. "However, the investigation is ongoing and we will be reviewing additional evidence to determine whether further charges are appropriate or whether existing charges should be amended."
The Arkansas Code Hiland referenced states the charge is warranted when a defendant engages in sexual contact with a minor under 14 and is a person in a position of trust or authority over the minor.
According to the Code, sexual assault is distinguished from a rape based on penetration of the mouth, vagina or anus by any body member or foreign instrument by another person.
Hawkins was issued a $25,000 bond Feb. 10 when the charge was formally filed, but he is still in jail according to the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office.
In the report with Hawkins’ arrest, parents of other children known to Hawkins told police they suspect their children may also have been sexually assaulted by Hawkins.
Victim ages in the report range from 4-8 years old.
A no contact order for Laura Hawkins, Hawkins’ wife, was issued the day Hawkins’ charge was filed as a condition of his pretrial release.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)