Charles Hank Hawkins, 45, of Greenbrier, pleaded not guilty to a second-degree sexual assault charge involving a child in Faulkner County Circuit Court Wednesday.
A request for a reduced bond was denied by Second Division Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, and a second bond hearing was scheduled for March 19, before the April 30 pretrial date.
Hawkins is being held on a $25,000 bond after his Dec. 11 arrest.
He was arrested on suspected sexual contact with a minor after the alleged victim’s parents told police their six-year-old son said 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 Sheriff’s Office report.
Hawkins was arrested and held on a potential charge of rape of a person under the age of 14, but his formal charge was second-degree sexual assault.
Twentieth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said in an earlier interview the evidence in the case warrants a formal charge of sexual assault in the second degree, "However, the investigation is ongoing and we will be reviewing additional evidence to determine whether further charges are appropriate."
A second-degree sexual assault charge is distinguished in Arkansas Code from rape based on penetration of the mouth, vagina or anus by any body member or foreign instrument by another person.
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.
Before his arrest, Hawkins was assistant chief at Cato Volunteer Fire Department.
(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)