Teenager admits guilt in rape case

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An Augusta teenager who raped a disabled woman pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Michael A. Hawes, 17, decided to plead guilty instead of standing trial this week in Richmond County Superior Court.

"When you can get a sex offender early on, that's a good thing," said Assistant District Attorney Philip W. Catalano, who was ready to try the case.

Mr. Hawes picked the most helpless victim he could find, but his behavior would have escalated to other victims, Mr. Catalano said.

Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet imposed a 25-year prison sentence, which is the minimum rape sentence under the state's new sex offender laws.

The ninth-grade dropout was accused of assaulting the 54-year-old woman Jan. 14.

The victim was staying with relatives on Broad Street but was home alone on the day of the attack. She is paralyzed on one side of her body, blind in one eye and unable to speak, Mr. Catalano said.

When her sister visited her later that day, she could tell something was wrong with the victim, who was crying and mad, Mr. Catalano said. The sister used a series of questions to figure out what had happened.

The victim would have testified at trial, Mr. Catalano said. She can communicate by nodding and shaking her head.

Mr. Hawes' DNA was found in the victim's rape kit samples, Mr. Catalano said.

Mr. Hawes, an orphan raised by a grandmother, was 16 when the assault happened, said attorney Kate Mason of the public defender office.

"I want to apologize ... to everybody," Mr. Hawes said.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (16) Add comment
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Doctor j. Dudleydoright
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Doctor j. Dudleydoright 06/18/08 - 09:09 am
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hone the needle

hone the needle

CoastalDawg
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CoastalDawg 06/18/08 - 09:28 am
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The word "apologize" has lost

The word "apologize" has lost its true meaning. It USED to mean that the individual who had committed the offense, yes I said OFFENSE, was truly sorry that he/she had done it. Politicians and other public figures and I would surmise this person have caused the meaning to be "I'm sorry that I got caught". There really is no such thing as apologizing for raping a helpless person, or any other person for that matter. This teenager must have really been desperate. I'm sure that this rapist's grandmother did the best she could in the absence of his parents but one has to wonder if there was not a good man who could have intervened and guided this young man in the right direction. Now, the chances are that he will learn how a rape victim feels. Moreover his life will now be directed by others from morning until the next morning over the next several years, costing the taxpayers untold thousands of dollars. Prevention is the best "cure" that can be - if you know a young person who is lacking parental guidance be a mentor. Don't let that one do what this one did.

popower
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popower 06/18/08 - 09:55 am
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coastadawg i agree

coastadawg i agree

BamaFanNGa
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BamaFanNGa 06/18/08 - 10:52 am
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Well, what do you know;

Well, what do you know; "Judge" Carlyle Overstreeet drops the ball again. Here he has an opportunity to rid this community of a vile criminal. What does he do? Gives the admitted rapist the MINIMUM sentence allowed. I guess all anyone has to do is say; "I'm Sooorrrry". And Overstreet let'sm go with the minimum. What about the victim and future victims of this pos.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 06/18/08 - 11:10 am
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I think we need to convert

I think we need to convert the lad to Christianity. Then we forgive him.Now we can execute him and send him off the heaven. And to think some people think Bizarro is without compassion. Hee,hee,hee. Statistically the best way to fight criminal behaviors iis with education and not religion. I find that so ironic. Jim Baker learned that lesson the hard way.

jack
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jack 06/18/08 - 11:42 am
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Overstreet should be run out

Overstreet should be run out of office. He is a joke, not a judge. Now the boy will find out how it feels to be raped as Bubbas is waiting.

christian134
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christian134 06/18/08 - 12:03 pm
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Okay now is the time for all

Okay now is the time for all good people to get together and place the dear child in the middle of the courthouse square and beat the every lovin' tar right out of him....He would most likely appreciate that treatment rather than face what lies ahead of him in prison....May God Almighty forgive him but may he also never forget what a disgustingly evil act he committed...

voluptuously_auburn1
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voluptuously_auburn1 06/18/08 - 12:16 pm
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What is the deal with

What is the deal with Overstreet and his oh-so-obvious leniency on those charged with sex offender crimes?? My family has been a first hand witness to his compassion (??) towards these fiends of society. Disgusting !!

christian134
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christian134 06/18/08 - 12:29 pm
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Judges who give these

Judges who give these offenders the lightest of sentences, in my opinion, have never had a loved one assaulted and if they have and still do nothing more than minimum sentences they have no business judging these types of offenses....

whyme
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whyme 06/18/08 - 12:42 pm
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The paper continues to print

The paper continues to print only what it wants so that we only get part of the story. Why was this poor woman left alone like that, where did such a tragic crime occur, and why did the perpetrator choose this woman (random-ish vs. acquainted with her circumstances, etc). Not that details would excuse the behavior but the stories always lack info. so that we get to run with what we know. Notice too that the quote from him was truncated and we see "...". Who know what he said, good or bad, that would have added to the story.

whyworry
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whyworry 06/18/08 - 04:45 pm
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It is very disturbing to me

It is very disturbing to me that a child would do something like this. What is even more disturbing is the fact that the justice system has failed this child. Their is no way any lawyer should have advised anyone for that matter to admit guilt in any situation such as this one. This is obviously a case of the lawyer not having the time or nerve to serve the client justly. Unfortunately we live in a society were even the most evil of people still have the right to proper defense. Sadly to say, even those responsible for 9-11.

ListenAndLearn
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ListenAndLearn 06/18/08 - 06:19 pm
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He did get the best possible

He did get the best possible defense. He pled guilty, thereby getting the minimum sentence. If he, the rapist took his chances with a jury, odds are he would have been found guilty (DNA don't lie), allowing Overstreet to impose the max, life without parole. It's called plea bargaining. "Children" can't commit rape whyworry. A 16 yo [filtered word]can. As timco1 said, hone the needle. When he gets out at 42 (2033), katie bar the door, one very disturbed individual is getting released (there is no parole).

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 06/18/08 - 07:32 pm
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Oh for petes sake, we have

Oh for petes sake, we have another blame the victim sympathize with the sorry [filtered word] poster here. The lady is not totally incapacitated, she was in her own home, disabled people deserve the right to live as much of a normal life as possible too!!. And evidently you know nothing about the court system... kk is right. Whyworry... your name fits you... get your head out of the sand hun.

nightsrider
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nightsrider 06/18/08 - 08:46 pm
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This little turd needs to

This little turd needs to fry, right now!

Bing0
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Bing0 06/18/08 - 11:42 pm
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It is obvious that angry

It is obvious that angry people who post on the Internet are doing what they are qualified for and not sitting on a bench in the judicial system.

TimeWindingUp
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TimeWindingUp 06/19/08 - 02:55 am
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Time is truly winding up.

Time is truly winding up. Get ready and get right, because society is getting more violent and I don't think God can put up with too much more of this.

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