RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh rape suspect is no stranger to law enforcement, records showed.
According to court records, Kwain Hawkins has been arrested more than 30 times in Wake County. Prosecutors said he was walking the streets of downtown Raleigh last October when he grabbed a 15-year-old girl after she got off her school bus and sexually assaulted her.
Records obtained by WNCN show Hawkins has been charged with assault 15 times.
“Anytime that you see somebody that has this kind of criminal history, in addition to drug charges and other types of charges, the number of assaults he has, I think it’s a legitimate question,” said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.
Freeman said almost all of Hawkins’ previous charges, including the assaults, are misdemeanors.
“At some point, people get fed up with a person committing petty crimes and they think that his history should be taken into account and that if he continues to commit crimes then he should be punished more severely,” said criminal defense attorney Seth Blum.
Blum said there are laws in place that allow upgraded charges for someone who is convicted of multiple assaults.
“If there were at least two convictions in the last 15 years for assaults of some kind, then a new assault could be enhanced and treated as a felony,” Blum said.
Records show since 2012 Hawkins was convicted of assault four times.
Prosecutors have twice charged Hawkins with the more serious crime of habitual assault, but those cases were dismissed.
Hawkins is being held for the rape charge on a $1.5 million bond, which was raised in part due to his criminal history.