U.S. Marshals: Alleged rapist of wheelchair bound victim may be in Va.


ALBANY, N.Y. (WRIC) — U.S. Marshals are asking for your help to locate a man accused of sexually assaulting a wheelchair bound victim in her Schenectady, New York, apartment while her loved ones slept only feet away.

On June 10, 2012, 29-year-old Michael Hawkins allegedly raped the victim in her apartment after her family members went to bed. The victim, who was wheelchair bound and mentally challenged, reported the crime the next day and a warrant was issued for Hawkins’ arrest. Authorities say he was formally charged with aggravated sex abuse in the first-degree and other crimes due to the victim’s disabilities.

Hawkins remained undetected by authorities until the following year, when he allegedly raped again.

On November 8, 2013, Hawkins allegedly sexually assaulted the wife of a friend, who had invited Hawkins to his Rotterdam, New York, home for a family gathering. In this case, he was charged with first-degree rape.

Authorities believe Hawkins may have fled the area after his crimes.

Hawkins has personal ties in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, California and Florida, but his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Nicknamed “Zombie Mike” by his friends for his poor hygiene, Hawkins is described as someone who can survive off scraps and hide anywhere, including wooded areas.

Due to his past employment with traveling carnival companies based in New Jersey and North Carolina, authorities say he could be working and traveling with similar companies in Ohio, Tennessee, Puerto Rico and states along the East Coast.

“Predators like Michael Hawkins who prey on helpless victims must be brought to justice,” said U.S. Marshal David McNulty of the Northern District of New York. “We, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, are determined to make sure he’s held accountable, but we need the public’s help.”

Authorities described Hawkins as a white male, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and unique physical characteristics including a 1.5 inch scar on his face, a burn mark scar on his right arm and a chest tattoo of the Grim Reaper. According to friends, he is known to abuse alcohol and have a temper.

“The Schenectady and Rotterdam Police departments, along with the Marshals, have dedicated countless man-hours during this fugitive investigation,” said McNulty. “With the public’s help, we are confident Hawkins will be arrested.”

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading directly to Hawkins’ arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office or the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102, or email: usms.wanted@usdoj.gov.

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