Judge dismisses groping case against former Alabama lawmaker
MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — A judge on Tuesday dismissed a criminal charge against a former Alabama legislator accused of groping a restaurant hostess after the woman requested the case be dropped.
Circuit Judge J.R Gaines entered the order dismissing a sexual abuse charge against Perry Hooper Jr. at the request of prosecutors. Prosecutor wrote in a Monday court filing that the woman indicated she wanted to drop the charge. Chief Deputy District Attorney Azzie M. Taylor wrote the case could not be prosecuted, “without the victim’s testimony and cooperation.”
Hooper issued a statement apologizing to the woman and calling his behavior unacceptable.
“I was wrong and I take full responsibility for my actions. (She) is an exemplary person and my behavior was unacceptable. I hope she will accept this apology for my regrettable conduct,” Hooper said in the statement issued through his attorney.
Hooper was arrested in August on a charge of sexual abuse. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge, according to court records.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, Hooper was accused of grabbing the woman’s breasts and waist, kissing her on the neck and shoving his pelvis into her backside. The woman was behind the host stand at the restaurant and Hooper was leaving the restaurant when the alleged events occurred, the document said.
The woman issued a statement last month through her attorney, Dianne James Davis, saying that she wanted the charges dismissed.
“The matters relating to Mr. Hooper and me have been resolved and going through the turmoil of a trial would provide no more justice than getting a sincere public apology from Mr. Hooper,” she said.
Hooper is a member of a prominent Republican family. He served in the Alabama House from 1983 to 2003.
Hooper, as chairman of Alabama Trump Victory in 2016, campaigned and raised money for former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. His father, Perry Hooper, Sr., was a chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.