082019-gaz-Hawkins

Eric Hawkins (second from left) consults his defense team during Monday’s testimonies.

Initial testimony began late Monday afternoon in the trial of a former Emporia chiropractor charged with sex crimes against three female patients.

Eric Hawkins was initially arrested in late Aug. 2018 and has since been accused of aggravated sexual battery and sexual battery against two female patients in separate incidents. A third charge of “rape: misrepresenting intercourse as medically necessary” was filed naming the victim to be a female patient who was 15 or 16 years of age at the time of the alleged assault.

After a lengthy jury selection process, Monday’s trial began concerning counts one and three. A separate trail concerning the second count of battery is scheduled to begin next week.

According to court documents obtained by The Gazette, the first count alleges Hawkins put his hands beneath the accuser’s pants and underwear and massaged her buttocks without consent. The third count alleges that Hawkins pulled his teenage accuser’s waistband below her genitals and penetrated her labia with his fingers.

The alleged victim named in count three testified Monday, telling jurors she waited to report the incident — which allegedly occurred in either Oct. or Nov. 2015 — until she saw a news report of another woman coming forward against Hawkins for “inappropriate behavior” in Aug. 2018.

“[The article] kind of validated in my head, it sounds conceited, but that I was right about what happened,” the alleged victim testified. “What he had done wasn’t OK, and it wasn’t something professional to do. In a way, it was almost kind of relieving seeing it and it proved to me that what had happened wasn’t right; but it also kind of brought back that feeling of uncomfortableness.”

Concerning the day of the incident, the alleged victim testified it was one of the few times she had gone to Hawkins’ medical offices without her father. She continued to recall that she was alone with Hawkins while a cold laser treatment was performed on her groin area, something which was unusual as he was often accompanied by other assistants, but not immediately concerning at the time.

“I laid on the treatment table and I pulled down the athletic shorts that I was wearing,” she said. “I pulled down my waistband to the area of my groin where the pain was located. The treatment started just like it usually did, but as a few minutes went along, he kept moving down toward my pubic bone area. Using his hand that he wasn’t holding the device with, he pulled my waistband down further and I kind of started to feel uncomfortable, but I didn’t think anything of it at first.

“As he kept moving the laser down, he used his other hand and managed to put his hand, his thumb, in between my labias and on my clitoris.”

The alleged victim testified the supposed touching lasted about two to three minutes, during which time her objection was ignored. After her treatment had finished, the victim quickly left Hawkins’ office and did not schedule any additional appointments at the time. She attempted to tell her father that Hawkins had touched her in a way that “made her uncomfortable” the following day, but “felt too awkward” to discuss the full nature of the visit.

Hawkins’ defense team also made opening arguments Monday. Lawyer Christopher M. Joseph said he would not argue proper medical protocols were followed completely during the incidents in question, but also said that claims of any criminal, purposeful wrongdoing were exaggerated, inaccurate or the result of “false memory.”

“Doctor Hawkins simply did not do what he is charged with; he did not commit a sex crime,” Joseph said. “After hearing all the evidence in the next couple days, you will be asked to decide on a single question. That single question is whether or not the state has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Dr. Hawkins committed both these crimes with which he is being charged. If you have any reasonable doubt, you must return a non-guilty verdict.”

Trial is set to resume 9 a.m. Tuesday and is tentatively scheduled to last until Friday.

(8) comments

Concerned

So you don't know either one of them......hmmm I believe you do.....Again what does drunk sex have to do with this case? NOTHING and neither does being a conservative or liberal. and character?....well I think his character speaks volumes and the State Board of Healing Arts doesn't take your license for nothing....I am sorry when at least 3 people who have never met accuse you of the same thing...I question his character, not theirs. It is common sense a good practice if you are in the medical field to always have a second person in the room when you are going to be examining a patient. So when you say take personal responsibility, you are right, he should have, he should not have put himself in a position of examining a female patient without someone present basic medicine 101. There is never a need for a chiropractor to be underneath your clothing and if there is then someone else should be present. When you are in church Sunday maybe you should repent for lying about not knowing him......

SnowGypsy

Only one alleged victim until it was publicized. The man has a right to a fair trial, believe it or not! It would really help if people would carefully read my posts since it appears that many miss the entire point, and read into whatever they think they might, but don't, have an argument against it. In drunk and drugged sex, both are responsible. I did not say this was the case, and I don't even know where they came from as I was simply saying in the case of both people drunk or drugged up, I consider it a "draw", (and that is something else that is becoming all too common, morning after regret) and in this case, we have allegations against a chiropractor and should, therefore, hold a fair trial. I do believe the educational system here is failing with so many not understanding how our system should be working. Liberals have not taken over. This is not a communist regime where if you don't like what someone does, says or someone makes an allegation, you just sentence someone to punishment on a whim. If "Ignorance is bliss............"!.

SnowGypsy

I am anxious to see the outcome of this. I see no way that there will be evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt. If anyone has this kind of experience, they need to talk to someone immediately, not wait 3 years. I am surprised if this was his "thing" that there would not be several coming forth especially if over at least a 3 year period as it seems has been claimed. Once a perv gets away with something like this, they "go for it" at every chance. It is critical that professionals be very careful when alone with a client as things aren't like they were when we were younger when accusations of this type were rare. Just not seeing a conviction here. I am a female, so............. Also know someone who was a patient of his.

kenzieluhu

The fact that 3 people accused him is enough. The reason people don't come forward is because of people who blame the victim, as you are doing. The testimony from the victims is disturbing and I feel bad that these women have had to go through this experience. People in positions of power abuse their power all the time. Unfortunately, it seems to have happened in this case as well.

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Concerned

Yes victim blame. The 19 year old victim did come forward immediately, that day not later IMMEDIATELY....and yes chiropractors should get permission and tell you where they are going to touch you, I have never been to one that hasn't. I have also NEVER had a chiropractor go inside my clothing, massage my butt or stick his fingers in my vagina! Defend him all you want....that is what his friends are for, but even friends shouldn't support his behavior....you are why women don't report or come forward, because when they do there are always people like you to discredit and condemn the victims. Shame on you!!!

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Concerned

Only one...so that makes it ok? And really drunk sex? He was a doctor and she was a patient, nothing to do with drunk sex!!!!! She did take personal responsibility....she immediately reported him!

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SnowGypsy

There were only 2 people in the room when it happened. I cannot say what actually happened, only the 2 people in the room. And, drunk sex? When two people are out getting drunk or drugged together, both are equally responsible for what happens. I know, liberals hate the thought of personal responsibility, but when both are in the same condition, "draw". Only the 2 people in the room that day know what happened, and their characters will come into play I am sure. I do not know either one of them, but it seems to me that reasonable doubt has a huge presence in this case. I have no reason to believe either one of them, but only 2 people in the room know what happened. As for the other "victims".................. I have never been to a chiropractor, so I cannot speak of what is appropriate or not. Was surprised so many younger women were using a chiropractor. Far too many people are accused of things they haven't done, and as I said, this case has made headlines a few times while other rapes in town, and check the stats, don't. Wonder what makes the difference? Keep in mind that anyone could be accused of this at any time, and one should want them to consider all the evidence and not make a snap decision based on an accusation. Who might be next? Think about it! Fair trial, not tried in the court of public opinion.

Aim_High

Snow has unfortunately locked herself into being pro-rape to prevent herself from being hypocritical. It the price she has to pay to support people who have done much worse, and had far more than 3 accusers. SAAAAD.

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