James Hooker must register as a sex offender, he’s on probation for the next 48 months and he has a 180 day jail sentence – but if he doesn’t violate his probation, he won’t have to serve any of that time.
“Mr. Hooker will now be be recognized as the predator he is,” said Gloria Allred, the attorney of the victim who brought the case against Hooker.
Those were the conditions of his plea agreement to reduce his sentence from a felony to a misdemeanor. Hooker was also required to admit in court to molesting the victim Michelle Miller.
“Other children will now receive a measure of protection,” said Allred.
Miller spoke publicity for the first time today, her hands shaking as she clenched a paper and choked out her story of Hooker befriending her on a school-supported trip to Orlando. She said he comforted her during a tough time in her life – coping with her parent’s divorce. Their friendship turned romantic when she was only 17.
She also spoke about the depression, the psychiatric medication and counseling required to help her through the trauma she says he caused.
“Mr. Hooker, like many sexual predators, must have sensed that vulnerability and took advantage of it,” said Allred.
Miller explained why she kept the secret for 15 years: to protect Hooker’s kids.
Hooker broke off their relationship to return to his family. At the same time, Miller says her life began spiraling down a dark tunnel of despair.
While she protected him, she also saved e-mails that exposed their relationship. She says she decided to come forward after seeing he had once again left his family for a teenage girl.
“Mr. Hooker appeared to be proud of that relationship, appearing on both Good Morning America and Dr. Phil where he seemed to revel in it. While the mother of Jordan Powers was visibly upset,” said Allred.
We tried to talk with Hooker and his attorney but they walked right passed us.
Hooker must register as a sex offender, but he will not be listed on the Megan’s Law website. He just needs to inform law enforcement where he is living. He must also stay away from girls 12 and younger.