Maximum sentence for possession of child pornography

Charles Henry Hawkins

Criminal District Attorney Bob Wortham announced Nov. 3 that a jury has found Charles Henry Hawkins, 57, guilty of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony. The jury assessed Hawkins’ punishment at 10 years confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a $10,000 fine. Hawkins was formally sentenced by Judge Raquel West.

June 5, 2013, employees with Porter’s Flooring America were installing new carpet at Hyde Park West Apartments in Beaumont when they discovered three hidden camera memory cards in the closet of one of the bedrooms. The employees later looked at the cards and discovered what they believed to be child pornography. They immediately notified the Beaumont Police Department. After a forensic examination of the cards by law enforcement, it was determined there were a total of 97 images of child pornography and 222 images of child erotica. Law enforcement also discovered multiple images of an adult male that was later identified as Hawkins. Upon review of lease documents from the apartment, it was also discovered that Hawkins previously lived in the apartment where the cards were found. Digital forensics showed that the last time the cards had been accessed was while Hawkins was living in the apartment.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kim Pipkin. Pipkin said, “I first want to thank the jury for their verdict. Nobody wants to show up for jury duty and have to look at child pornography, but they took their duty very seriously and saw that justice was done. I also want to thank Detective Jeff Curl from the Beaumont Police Department for the work he did to make sure we got a conviction in this case.

The range of punishment was to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Hawkins had prior international convictions for rape, attempted buggery, aggravated burglary, and robbery from 1989. Because the convictions were from outside the United States, they could not be used to enhance his punishment.

Hawkins must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

— Jefferson County DA's Office