crime

Convicted sex offender arrested on new charges

Story highlights

  • Jeff Hawkins is accused of criminal sexual contact of a minor and false imprisonment.
  • Hawkins was sentenced to 31 years in prison in 1995 and served 16 years before being released on probation.
  • The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold Hawkins with no bond pending trial.
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The suspect was convicted of four sex charges in 1995

FARMINGTON — The San Juan County sheriff has expressed his disappointment in the recent arrest of a man convicted of sex charges more than 20 years ago on new charges.

Jeff Hawkins, 62, is accused of a third-degree felony count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and a fourth-degree felony count of false imprisonment, according to court records.

He is accused of unwanted sexual contact of a juvenile female younger than 13 last year, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Steve Murphy, Hawkins' attorney, said his firm's investigation into the case has shown the victim had recanted her story and did not tell the truth.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office issued a press release about the arrest, which occurred on Monday.

Hawkins was convicted of four first-degree felony counts of criminal sexual penetration in February 1995 and was sentenced to 31 years in prison, according to the press release. But he was released from prison in May 2011 after serving 16 years and served five years of probation following his release.

Ken Christesen, who now serves as the county sheriff, was a detective with the agency from 1992 to 1997 and led the probe of Hawkins' first case, according to Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jayme Harcrow.

San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen
San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen
Courtesy of San Juan County Sheriff's Office

“If Hawkins had been forced to serve his entire 31-year sentence, we would not have more victims suffering today," Christesen said in a statement. "This is a man that admitted to abusing young children in the past and has certainly not been rehabilitated by his limited time in prison.”

Hawkins has been registering as a sex offender with the Sheriff's Office since 2011 and does not have any violations for failing to register, according to Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

The investigation was launched after allegations of foul play between the victim and Hawkins were raised, according to court documents.

A forensic interview with the victim was conducted on Sept. 25. She stated the alleged unwanted sexual contact occurred when Hawkins was working on a boat east of Aztec on or around late May or early July 2017, according to court documents.

During the interview, the victim described the alleged incident, and stated the incident made her feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Hawkins was being held without bond today at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold Hawkins with no bond pending trial.

A hearing regarding the motion has scheduled for 1:30 p.m Monday in Aztec District Court.

Hawkins' preliminary hearing is scheduled for the morning of Oct. 18 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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