Former computer science lecturer Timothy Hawkins is currently under investigation for three felony crimes relating to child pornography. He was arrested in late May 2015 and arraigned June 1, when he pled not guilty to all charges.
Hawkins faces charges of possession and transmission of child pornography, possession depicting sexual conduct of a child and possession of matter depicting minor engaging sexual conduct and portraying sexual sadism and masochism. There were allegedly more than 600 images depicting child pornography and 10 or more images with minors under the age of 12.
His defense attorney, Darren Murphy, gave a statement Wednesday evening.
“We have hired a forensic computer expert — there are problems with the investigation — and we expect (Hawkins) to be fully exonerated,” Murphy said in the statement.
If convicted, Hawkins could face several prison sentences and would be registered as a sex offender.
Hawkins stopped teaching classes weeks before his arrest for what he told the computer science department chair were “personal reasons,” according to Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier.
After the Atascadero Police Department informed Cal Poly of Hawkins’ arrest, the university told him he would no longer be allowed to return to campus as an instructor.
The university did not notify campus groups about Hawkins’ arrest because he was not believed to be a threat, Lazier said. Cal Poly hosts both the Orfalea Family & Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Children’s Center and the Preschool Learning Lab on campus, and is blocks away from Charles E. Teach Elementary School. None of the criminal charges are alleged to have taken place on campus.
Hawkins will appear in court on March 10 for his pre-preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. At that time, prosecution and defense attorneys will discuss possible plea bargains, as well as gather all the information regarding the case before moving on to the preliminary hearing.