Manatee County, Florida- The man Manatee deputies say kidnapped, choked and sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl did not show his face for his first appearance before a judge in court today.
However, it's a place the Dominick Hawkins is familiar with.
"He has a prior record in New Jersey, Colorado and North Carolina. His record in Florida began in 2008 with domestic battery," an attorney told the judge.
The Manatee County Judge set a $2 million bond for the kidnapping charge, and no bond on the sexual battery charge.
Today we learned Hawkins' long criminal record includes domestic battery and assault. He spent nearly eight years in a North Carolina prison on two counts of kidnapping.
According to the arrest report from the most recent incident, Hawkins denies some of the charges. According to him, he did not lure away the 5-year-old girl from her home. He also says it is the child that asked him to buy here candy in the convenience store.
Hawkins also denies ever taking the child to an abandoned mobile home unit at the Aloha Estates Park, where he's accused of assaulting and locking her inside.
The girl escaped through a window.
Hawkins has admitted it is him trying to board a county bus, but said he did not know the child was running in the background.
"I'm mad. I think this guy is a monster he's evil and he needs to go to prison forever if possible," said Kimberly Todd.
When Todd heard of Hawkins' arrest Wednesday afternoon, she recognized the name as the man who deputies say abandoned his 4-year-old twin boys on a sidewalk in Oneco around 10 p.m. on June 11th.
"I brought them to my truck, and sat them down. They were screaming hysterically," Todd recalled of the night. "I couldn't calm them down. I couldn't understand them."
Todd contacted 911 that night, and then her husband, a deputy, and the boys searched the neighborhood for their parents. But they were nowhere to be found.
The boys' mother told deputies she left her sons with their father while she did laundry.
10 News tried speaking to her, but she refused- fearing retaliation. No one else in the neighborhood would talk about Hawkins either.
An arrest warrant went out a month ago for Hawkins on child neglect charges.
"He does not need to be around kids ever again in his life. He has serious mental issues," said Todd.
Manatee investigators continue gathering evidence, and say they believe to have a very strong case against Hawkins. He remains at the Manatee county jail.
Follow 10 News Reporter Isabel Mascarenas on twitter @IzzyMascarenas