Knoxville — David Ray Hawkins, 19, pled guilty to one count of lascivious acts with a child in Marion County District Court Thursday morning. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Hawkins admitted to sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in Knoxville in May. The defendant voluntarily entered the guilty plea, waiving several rights afforded criminal defendants. He waived more rights to proceed with sentencing, immediately after entering the plea.
The victim's father read an impact statement before the sentence was pronounced. The father accused Hawkins of telling the girl what she wanted to hear.
"This man took advantage of a little girl who was down on herself," the father said. "My 13-year-old girl was led astray by this adult. I don't know if she'll ever trust men again."
He went on to say that the victim will be continuing to struggle with the effects of the abuse long after Hawkins is released from prison.
Marion County Attorney Ed Bull asked Judge Terry Rickers to impose the maximum sentence of 10 years.
"There's no question we need to send a strong message," Bull said. Rickers gave Hawkins the opportunity to address the court before being sentenced.
"I just wanted to apologize to (the victim) and her family," Hawkins said. "I am truly sorry."
Rickers engaged Hawkins at that point. He asked the defendant what he was thinking. Hawkins said that he was not thinking at the time of the crime.
"Oh, you were thinking," Rickers said. Hawkins then lamented, "I just wanted to fulfill my sexual desire."
Hawkins was scheduled to appear in court regarding a probation violation. He was on probation for an OWI charge. Rickers asked Hawkins his opinion for how the probation has gone.