Hawkins man charged with solicitation

A 30-year-old Hawkins County man indicated by a state grand jury on Aug. 17 for solicitation of a minor was taken into custody Saturday at his residence on Payne Ridge Road in Church Hill, authorities say.

The alleged illicit electronic communication between Howard Kolton Evans and the 14-year-old girl occurred on July 4, and Evans knew or should have known the alleged victim was underage, according to the indictment.

Evans, who was born in Mississippi, allegedly requested, persuaded, invited or attempted to induce the girl to engage in aggravated statutory rape, a felony charged that can be filed when at least 10 years separate the alleged perpetrator and the would-be victim.

Detective John Pruitt with the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department presented the case to the grand jury. Evans was released from jail after posting bond. If convicted of solicitation, he could face up to two years behind bars and be required to register as a sex offender.