Bradenton kidnapping-rape suspect ordered to remain in jail

jdeleon@bradenton.comJuly 19, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A Manatee County judge Friday ordered the suspect in the kidnapping and rape of a 5-year-old Bradenton girl to remain in jail.

Judge Peter Dubensky did find probable cause for the charge of sexual assault, after expressing some concerns on Thursday. He also ordered for a hearing where the possibility of bond will be further argued by attorneys.

Dominick Jerome Hawkins, 36, is charged with kidnapping and capital sexual battery.

The prosecution is seeking pre-trial detention for the charge of rape, according to Assistant State Attorney Daniel Yuter.

Yuter presented Dubensky and the Public Defender's Office with case law to support his motion.

Hawkins refused to appear in court Friday, as he did as well on Thursday.

On Thursday Dubensky set a $2 million bond on the charge of kidnapping and ordered no bond on the sexual battery charge, while ordering Friday's hearing.

Hawkins was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a 48-hour manhunt led by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The case started just after noon on Monday when Hawkins allegedly walked through the Wayside Glen Mobile Home Park, 5120 14 St. W., and lured the girl to the India Bazaar store, 5112 14th St. W., with the promise to buy her candy.

He then allegedly took her to a vacant mobile home in the Aloha Mobile Home Park, 5310 14th St. W., and chocked her while sexually assaulted her. He then locked her in and walked away, according to the sheriff's office.

The girl managed to escape through an unlocked window, just as Hawkins is captured on video surveillance trying to board a southbound Manatee County bus.

A tip through Crimestoppers that Hawkins had previously lived in Wayside Glen helped detectives to identify Hawkins and find an old mug shot of him from a previous arrest.

A witness statement also provided detectives with another important lead, that Hawkins had been carrying a lunchbox. The original owner of the lunchbox was tracked down and detectives were able to determine the area in Sarasota where they thought he may be staying.

Sarasota Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office were both asked for assistance. A Sarasota police detective located Hawkins Wednesday afternoon.

Hawkins cooperated and was taken to the Sarasota police station for questioning by Manatee County Sheriff's Office detectives.

He admitted to having walked through the mobile home park that day of the incident and buying the girl candy at the store but denied the assault. Detectives then arrested him.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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