'Sexually dangerous' 28-year-old with lengthy history of abusing young girls to be jailed in eastern North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 28-year-old deemed a "sexually dangerous person" will be jailed in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Jonah James Hawkins was turned over to federal custody as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Hawkins is the 83rd person to ever be committed under the Adam Walsh Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Hawkins has a history of sexually abusing young girls.

When he was 14, Hawkins molested a 3-year-old. At 15, he molested a 5-year-old. At 16, he molested a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old he was babysitting. At 17, he molested the same 2-year-old more than 30 times over a two-month period.

Hawkins even pleaded with the 2-year-old's mother to allow him to have custody of the child.

Hawkins was eventually convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 13 in Minnesota and contributing to the deprivation of a minor in North Dakota. For those crimes he was sentenced to 10 years of probation.

He violated his probation multiple times by seeking relationships with children under the age of 12. He was sent to prison for those parole violations but was later released on probation.

In June 2017, Hawkins was found in Texas using an alias. When U.S. Marshals found Hawkins, he was holding a 2-year-old.

Hawkins admitted at trial that he was sexually attracted to the 2-year-old and had solicited naked pictures from underage children. He was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison.

Hawkins was scheduled to be released May 1, 2019, but federal prosecutors certified him as a sexually dangerous person under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The act allows the United States to imprison people deemed sexually dangerous who "would have serious difficulty refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation" if allowed to remain in public.

All sexually dangerous persons committed to federal custody are housed in a federal facility in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
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