A 29-year-old man has been charged with multiple sex crimes against children after police searched his residence. Devin M. Harkins of Ulster County, New York, is facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree course of sexual conduct according to police. Police searched Harkins’ residence as part of a routine welfare check of a child who was living at the address.
According to police, the search of the residence uncovered disturbing evidence that Harkins engaged in an illicit series of crimes against children. Harkins’ home in Kingston, New York, was searched thoroughly when police believed there was a high likelihood that Harkins had engaged in unlawful conduct.
Police contacted detectives and obtained a search warrant, which led to the uncovering of evidence that led to Harkins’ arrest.
Police arrested Harkins on Thursday, and he was taken to Ulster County jail. Harkins’ bail was set at $15,000, which he was able to post on Saturday in order to secure release ahead of his sentencing. The charges against the New York man are felonies, meaning he would face serious jail time if found guilty.
It is unclear at the time of this writing what evidence was found in Harkins’ residence. However, it is unsurprising he was so eager to post bail. Prisoners being held on charges of sex crimes against children are often targeted by prison violence. Many people awaiting sentencing for such crimes will go to extreme lengths to avoid being in contact with other prisoners.
At of right now, an investigation into Harkins’ activity is still ongoing. However, police records indicate that Harkins has been charged with crimes involving illegal sexual activity with multiple children. More charges may soon follow.
The charges Harkins is facing are quite severe. Felony first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree course of sexual conduct both refer to multiple acts of sexual misconduct in which the victim is unable to legally consent. It is likely, given the police filings, that Harkins is accused of sex crimes against children under 13, given the wording of the charges against him.
Felony first-degree criminal sexual act charges are brought when a person has sexual contact with a party that is “physically helpless” and can’t legally give consent. As such, these charges carry hefty prison sentences. It is unclear at the time of this writing whether Harkins has secured legal counsel to represent him in his upcoming sentencing and trial.