Indiana man receives 50-year prison sentence for child molesatio - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana man receives 50-year prison sentence for child molesation

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Hawkins, Earl 2.jpg Hawkins, Earl 2.jpg
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Earl Hawkins, 43, was sentenced Tuesday in Scott County Circuit Court to a sentence of 50 years on a felony charge of child molestation, according to Scott County Prosecutor Jason Mount.

Hawkins came under investigation in May, after he was confronted by his wife over accusations that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a relative.

Officials say that Hawkins, after being confronted, grabbed a loaded gun and barricaded himself inside a bedroom.

Indiana State Police then responded to a residence in Scottsburg, Indiana.

Officials were able to get inside the home, but found that Hawkins had escaped. He was later arrested by the Scottsburg Police Department.

Officials say Hawkins admitted during a plea hearing on October 21 to having sexual intercourse with a female child when she was 13 years old.

"We are pleased with the outcome in this case," Mount said. "In any child molesting case, when we are dealing with child victims/witnesses, we have to consider the trauma testifying at trial can have on the child, and the risk that the defendant might be acquitted. In this case, through plea negotiations, we were able to resolve the case quickly, with a plea to a maximum sentence on the most serious charge. That is a deal that the state cannot turn down."

Hawkins was also accused of several other incidents involving the same victim. He could have faced consecutive penalties for those crimes. The state agreed not to pursue those accusations because he pleaded guilty to the most serious charge.

"Whenever you reach a plea agreement, there has to be some amount of compromise on both sides. Had Mr. Hawkins been convicted at trial, he could have faced a harsher sentence. But in order to get that, we would have had to put the victim through the process, and we would risk years of appeals," Mount said.

One of the terms of Hawkins plea is that he forfeits any rights to appeal his conviction.

In
addition to his 50-year prison sentence, Hawkins is also identified as a "sexually violent predator," which requires lifetime registration on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry.

He is also forbidden from having any contact with the victim or the victim's family members.

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