MS teacher planned to take student across state lines to elope, charged with felony sexual battery: Report

A former teacher in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who has been accused of having sexual relations with a student, was granted bond. Then, a disturbing detail was revealed.

Jackson County Sheriff Captain Kristen Johnson testified, saying “[h]e (James Donald Hawkins II) said that they had made plans to go to Louisiana to elope, and things were moving faster than they originally expected,” according to WLOX.

During her testimony, Jackson said Hawkins, 38, had sex with the 17-year-old victim at his home and in the parking lot of the Walmart in Ocean Springs.

Hawkins, who previously taught physics at a high school in the Ocean Springs school district, was arrested on November 30 and charged with felony sexual battery.

The authorities stated that the investigation is still ongoing and that more charges could be on the way.

The New York Post reported Johnson said “[t]he victim said that it began in the springtime of 2023 before the last school year ended,” adding that “[a]ccording to Mr. Hawkins, he admitted they had sex approximately one time a month, including at his house and in her car.”

The home that Hawkins apparently had the sexual encounter in was the same house that he shared with his wife and their toddler, according to the Sun Herald.

Hawkins’ bond was apparently set for $150,000, and the judge went on to say that he needed to stay away from the student and her family.

School officials released a statement, saying that the accusations made against the former teacher were “disturbing and intolerable.”

“OSSD is deeply troubled by the arrest and charges announced today by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department involving one of our teachers,” the school district said.

“James Hawkins was terminated from OSSD when district officials were informed of his arrest and subsequent charges by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department this evening.”

Hawkins had been teaching at Ocean Springs High School for over a year. Before the high school job, he worked in physics as a graduate student at Mississippi State University, according to LinkedIn.

His profile mentioned that he completed his bachelor’s degree at Mississippi State between 2005 and 2019. Following completion of the degree, he reportedly worked as a professors’ assistant and physics lab graduate teaching assistant.

Hawkins’ lawyer, Cameron McCormick, and the school district did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

However, the school district confirmed to local news outlets that Hawkins had been terminated following the revelation.

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