BRADENTON — A Manatee County judge ordered kidnapping and rape suspect Dominick Jerome Hawkins to be held without bond. He also ordered him returned to court in 24 hours for another hearing.
Judge Peter Dubensky set a $2 million bond on a kidnapping charge and ordered Hawkins held without bond on a charge of sexual battery. If convicted at trial, Hawkins would be sentenced to life in prison.
Dubensky expressed reservations about the case against Hawkins.
“This penalty requires a full evidentiary hearing,” Dubensky said. “All I have is a blanket statement and it’s not even from the child."
Hawkins, 36, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Sarasota after a 48-hour manhunt led by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office after a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped in Bradenton.
The girl was able to escape after the attack. She is back home with her family.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon112.