Christopher James Hooker, that 41-year-old ex-teacher out in California who left his wife to move in with an 18-year-old student, was arrested today after being charged with one count of oral copulation with a minor in an incident that police say occurred 14 years ago.
The charge stems from a relationship Hooker apparently had back in 1998 with a then-17-year-old student at Davis High School in Modesto, where he was teaching at the time.
Hooker was arrested at his residence and booked into jail.
He entered a plea of not guilty in Stanislaus County Superior Court, where a judge set his bail at $50,000 and assigned him a public defender. A bail reduction hearing is set for Tuesday.
Police were already looking into whether or not they could file criminal charges against Hooker, who quit his job so he could move into an apartment with 18-year-old Jordan Powers, a girl he met while teaching.
During their investigation, police said it was alleged that, back in 1998, Hooker became friends with the young student, started a romance with her, then sexually assaulted her.
After word got out about his relationship with Powers, Hooker was placed on administrative leave February . He resigned less than three weeks later.
“In making our choice, we’ve hurt a lot of people,” Hooker had previously said of their relationship. “We keep asking ourselves, ‘Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?’ ”
Tammie Powers, the girl’s mother, says she thinks Hooker pursued her daughter, citing recent issues with her daughter’s grades and health. Her daughter has been having panic attacks, Powers said.
“I believe it was the stress of the lie,” Tammie Powers said.
After James Hooker moved in with Powers, California lawmaker Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, created legislation to strip teachers of their retirement benefits if they have romantic relationships with students.
“My point is, whether you’re 18, 17 or 14, the fact remains that a teacher is in a position of authority and influence over that student, and therefore, it is highly inappropriate,” Olsen said.
- California bill would punish student-teacher dating (foxnews.com)
- James Hooker Update: Assemblywoman Tries to Legislate Teacher’s Love for Student (blogs.sfweekly.com)