Two sentenced for rape, child solicitation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Two men have been sentenced in Shelby County in separate sex-related convictions.

Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Angela Dunn said Earl Preston Hawkins, 40, was sentenced to 29 years for first-degree rape and William Stanley Pair, 51, was sentenced to three years

to serve for attempted solicitation of a child by computer. Both sentences were handed down

on Tuesday, March 30, she said.

Hawkins was formerly of Chelsea but now makes his home in the Leeds area.

And Pair, whose address was 1420 Arrowhead Trail in Alabaster at the time of the crime, was a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Alabaster.

Capt. Curtis Rigney of the Alabaster Police Department said Pair was 47 when the crime occurred and was arrested in May 2000. He said Pair solicited what he thought was a 15-year-old female for sex through the Internet and was to meet the female at Buck Creek Park in Alabaster.

Rigney said, however, Pair was chatting on the computer with a female Helena Police Officer. He also said during the course of the conversation, Pair disclosed that he had sex at his church with other 15-year-old females.

&uot;This piqued our interest at the Alabaster Police Department because he had admitted to a crime,&uot; Rigney said.

Rigney said a meeting was arranged with Pair at the park to meet a female for sex. However, he said, Pair was met by law enforcement officials and arrested.

Rigney said he was a sergeant at the time of Pair’s arrest for attempted child solicitation by computer and served as a witness along with Joy Gibson of the Helena Police Department, who posed as the minor.

Dunn said at trial Pair claimed other meetings with 15-year-old females were &uot;all fantasy,&uot; and no other victims came forward.

She said if Pair had been convicted for the completion of the solicitation of a child by computer, the crime would have been a Class B felony and would have carried a sentence of two to 20 years with no prior convictions. However, she said as the crime was an attempted solicitation, it fell to the level of a Class C felony which carries a sentence of one to 10 years.

Dunn said Pair’s appeal bond was set at $150,000.

She said Hawkins also has a

right to appeal, but no appeal bond was set due to the length of his sentence.

Dunn said a pattern of sex crimes over a year was used as evidence in the Hawkins case. Also Dunn and Assistant District Attorney Ingrid Dean reported that Hawkins was convicted of having raped a relative who was a minor female.

Dunn said Pair was convicted Wednesday, Feb. 25 and Hawkins was convicted on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Both Hawkins and Pair remained in custody at the Shelby County Jail at presstime