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Ex-Modesto teacher goes to court on sex-with-minor charge

May 15, 2012 | 11:46 am

The former Modesto high school teacher charged with sex abuse of a minor was back in court Tuesday, accompanied by the former student he is now living with.

James Hooker, 41, arrived at the Modesto courthouse with his 18-year-old girlfriend Jordan Powers. Hooker had made national headlines when he left his family and moved in with Powers. He has not been charged in connection to his relationship with Powers. But on April 6, Hooker was arrested on one count of oral copulation with a minor; the crime allegedly took place in 1998 when he was a teacher at Davis High School in Modesto.

In court on Tuesday, Hooker moved to switch from a public defender to a private attorney. Mary Lynn Belsher will now represent Hooker.

Belsher asked for an extension of the proceedings because she was not familiar with all the details, with the next court date for Hooker being June 5. Hooker also moved to waive his rights for a preliminary hearing.

He left the courthouse with Powers, who reportedly moved back in with Hooker on April 17.


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-- Fox 40 Sacramento