A New York man has been indicted by a grand jury for sexual assault against two children. Devin Harkins, 29, of Ulster County has been indicted on these serious charges that stem from a November 4 arrest.
He faces charges of two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child, three counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree, three class D violent felonies, two misdemeanor counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
If those crimes sound extreme, that’s because they are. Prosecutors described Harkins’ alleged conduct as “especially heinous,” which led the grand jury to consider particularly extreme charges. Harkins was arrested earlier this month by Kingston Police after assistance from Ulster County Family and Child Advocacy Center led to him being suspected of crimes against children.
The investigation of Harkins began after officers responded to a report of a crime in progress. According to police, Harkins was arraigned for the higher charges due to the severity of his alleged crimes. District Attorney Clegg told reporters that the Class A-II felony, Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child, allows prosecutors to seek high damages for even Class B felonies.
This, in turn, means that prosecutors might be able to craft a case against Harkins that could see him put behind bars for a very long time. Harkins is being represented by Michael Kavanagh, Esq. of Mainetti & Mainetti P.C., while his case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Katherine R. Van Loan.
Should Harkins be found guilty for his crimes, he is unlikely to have any chance for parole.
Given the nature of the crimes Harkins is accused of, his legal counsel is likely to argue for him to be kept away from general population in the event that he is jailed. This is because people jailed for crimes against children are often the target of violence at the hands of other inmates.
Defense attorneys in cases like this often aim to get their clients an easier time behind bars rather than trying to prove the defendant isn’t guilty.
Remember, some simple safety tips can help your children stay safe even when you’re not around. Remind them that they can always call 911 if someone tries to get them to enter a residence or vehicle against their will. Explain that they should never get into cars with people they don’t know.
Most of all, make sure your kids know that they’re safe to come to you with any concerns they have about the adults in their lives in the event of an abusive incident.