Tulsa Pastor Arrested For Having Sex With Underage Girl
TULSA, Oklahoma - The pastor of a Tulsa church is free on bond following his arrest Monday afternoon on a complaint of sexual assault of a minor child.
Police arrested Gregory Hawkins, 54, after a 15-year-old girl told officers she was about five months pregnant with his child.
Police have been investigating Gregory Hawkins since February. He is the pastor of the Zion Plaza Church and also is the owner of a daycare called the Zion Plaza Child Learning Center.
The girl says he began having sex with her last year when she was 14, and it happened at his daycare, his home, hotel rooms, and even in a parking lot at River Parks.
The girl told police she lived with him at his home for a time, beginning when she was 14, and that's when the abuse started.
She told police she and Hawkins had intercourse between 20 and 30 times in the past year, until around the first of this year, when she got pregnant.
Police say as tragic as this case is, it's frankly pretty common.
"The majority of sexual assaults are someone the victim knows. A great number of those, they are related to," said Sgt. Mark Mears.
According to the records, the teen gave Tulsa Police copies of two recorded phone calls with Gregory Hawkins in which he "admits to having sex with the victim and tells her several times how sorry he is." Jail records state "the defendant is recorded saying that he had sex with the victim because he thought she was ‘very sexy, attractive and beautiful'."
Hawkins took over the Zion Plaza Child Learning Center several years ago, after his brother, Nico Padillow, was murdered. That case remains unsolved.
Police say people should remember that cases like this, where a church leader is accused, are the exception, not the rule.
"Whenever any of these stories come up, people think you can't trust the church or the day care or youth leaders, but most of the people in those professions, overall, are there for the right reasons," Mears said. "But, people who want to have access to kids will put themselves in those places, so keep your eyes open but, don't pre-judge."
DHS records show Hawkins' daycare has a two-star rating out of a possible three stars.
We saw two DHS workers at the daycare Tuesday afternoon. DHS says they were there to make sure the kids were safe and to check on his licensing.
They also wanted to be assured Hawkins would not be at the daycare, and the staff agreed to that.
Hawkins posted a $50,000 bond and was released from the Tulsa County jail. He is scheduled for a July 2, 2013 court appearance.
The girl's mother filed a protective order against him in February and it remains in effect at least until their next court date. It orders him not to come within 300 yards of the girl.