A Report from Your New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers
Ever since he shot into national prominence after he appeared with his 18-year-old girlfriend on a television show, James Hooker has been the subject of sex crime investigations. Now the 41-year-old former California high school teacher has been arrested for the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old girl in 1997.
The abuse allegedly occurred fifteen years ago when Hooker taught at a different school. Hooker was arrested at his home in California, and has been booked on charges of oral copulation with a minor. Hooker denies the charges and maintains that he is not guilty. A court has set his bail at $50,000.
Hooker made headlines earlier this year when he quit his job and left his wife and children to move in with an 18-year-old girl who was his student at the high school where he taught. Although allegations of sex crimes immediately surfaced, Hooker denied that there had been any physical relationship between him and Jordan Powers until she turned 18 years of age. An investigation into the nature of their relationship and whether any sexual contact occurred before Powers turned 18 years of age is presently ongoing.
Powers’ mother has been a vociferous critic of this relationship, and has articulated her belief that the relationship was sexual before Powers turned 18. She claims that text messages clearly indicate that the teacher and student had a physical relationship before Powers reached the legal age of consent. However, she has not yet made this evidence public.
Powers’ mother has made no bones of the fact that she wants her daughter out of this relationship with a much older man, even though the daughter is now at the age of consent.
New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
Persons convicted of sex crimes involving minors in New Jersey may be subjected to severe penalties. These include not just a prison term, but also registration as a sex offender in a publicly accessible registry.
The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with fraud, sex crimes, drug crimes, murder, assault and other crimes across New Jersey.