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Serial Rapist Gets Life Sentence

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A Dallas serial rapist has been sentenced to life in prison. David Thomas Hawkins, 75, terrorized Dallas between 1982 and 1985. He was arrested on Aug 19, 2020, for the aggravated sexual assault of a Dallas woman in 1985.

His history goes back even further. In 1973, Hawkins was convicted of rape after he was arrested in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Hawkins entered a plea of “nolo contendere,” which meant he neither accepted nor denied the charges but accepted the punishment. He was sentenced to thirty years behind bars with nine years suspended. He was released on parole in 1977.

In 2005, one of Hawkins’ survivors contacted the Dallas Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit, requesting to reopened her case. Dallas police said the evidence collected from her case and other related cases were submitted for further testing. The testing was carried out over the next four years.

DNA profiles were obtained and uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. Throughout the investigation, it was found that Hawkins’ DNA was never collected or registered into the CODIS because it predated the requirement to do so. Police discovered that the suspect’s DNA from four Dallas cases matched the DNA from two cases of similar nature from 1980 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Detectives investigated these cases and eliminated possible suspects. Hawkins was later identified in 2020 when his DNA was subjected to genealogical research and analysis.

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