Modesto Police Arrest Former Teacher Hooker For Sexual Assault On Minor

MODESTO (CBS13) – A former Modesto high school teacher who made national news when he began dating one of his former students has been arrested for sexual abuse of a different student 14 years ago.

Detectives from the Modesto Police Department’s Special Victims Unit arrested James Christopher Hooker, 41, on Friday for one count of oral copulation.


Hooker appeared in court Friday afternoon. A judge set his bail at $50,000 and assigned him a public defender. Hooker requested that his bail amount be reduced, and the judge set a hearing next Tuesday to consider the matter. Hooker bailed out of jail shortly after midnight on Saturday morning.

CBS13 PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Modesto Teacher Being Investigated For Relationship With Student

dn james hooker 03 Modesto Police Arrest Former Teacher Hooker For Sexual Assault On Minor

James Hooker after his courtroom appearance. Judge Thomas Zeff entered a not guilty plea with $50,000 bail on April 6, 2012 in Modesto for Hooker. (credit: Debbie Noda/Modesto Bee)

Detectives initially began to investigate Hooker after the mother of an Enochs High School student reported an alleged inappropriate relationship between her 18-year-old daughter Jordan Powers and Hooker, who taught business classes at the school before he resigned when their relationship came to light in February.

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered a separate victim who was involved in a romantic relationship with Hooker when she was a 17-year-old high school student, police said.

This incident occurred in 1998 when Hooker was a teacher at Davis High School in Modesto. Hooker befriended the victim and developed a romantic relationship with the minor, police said. The statue of limitations doesn’t apply because of the nature of the allegation. According to the California Penal Code, a criminal complaint may be filed within one year of the allegation being reported to law enforcement.

Investigators obtained evidence that corroborates the victim’s allegations and detectives were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Hooker.

“Mr. Hooker was able to befriend this 17-year-old victim and continue the relationship and it did become a romantic relationship between the two, which led to the sexual assault,” Lt. Rick Armendariz said.

Detectives arrested Hooker, who left his wife and three daughters to be with Powers, at his Modesto apartment and booked him into the Stanislaus County Jail for one count of oral copulation with a minor.

News of Hooker’s arrest was welcomed by Tammie Powers, who has campaigned against Hooker’s relationship with her daughter and appeared on the same “Dr. Phil” show to voice her objection.

CBS13 Interview: Tammie Powers

“I’m elated,” Tammie Powers told CBS13’s Laura Cole. “This has been my contention all along, that James Hooker is a predator. He abused his position of authority and I contended that from day one.”

Tammie said she moved Jordan out Hooker’s apartment after his arrest.

“She’s no longer with James Hooker,” she said. “That did break up today when he got arrested. I think she’s in shell shock. I think it’s initial trauma. It just happened so quickly, so I think it’s going to take a long time for her to really put this in perspective and see the magnitude of it.”

CBS13 put in a request to talk to the now infamous former teacher, who bragged about his relationship with Jordan to anyone who would listen, but tonight, he wasn’t in a mood to talk.

“That doesn’t surprise me, he didn’t have anything to say to us today,” said Tammie.

But right now, Tammie isn’t focused on Hooker’s arrest. She’s worried about her daughter. And dedicated to helping Jordan move on with her life, get a college education, and date a man her own age.

“I don’t know if she is okay. I think she’s physically okay, but I don’t know otherwise; and I think we will have to address those as well,” said Tammie.

Modesto police say the investigation of Hooker’s relationship with Jordan Powers remains open.

“All along I have had a belief system that there have been more (victims), but again, I couldn’t prove it,” Tammie Powers said.

CBS13 PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Modesto Mom Confronts Former Teacher Living With Her 18-Year-Old Daughter

Hooker and Powers went on national television, including “Dr. Phil” last month, to defend their relationship. During his interviews, Hooker has maintained he and Powers only became sexually involved after she turned 18.

He quit his teaching position in February after news of their relationship surfaced, she dropped out of Enochs and they moved in together.

Kristin Olsen, a state Assembly member from Modesto, has purposed legislation that would outlaw teacher-student sexual relationships in California, even if the student is 18. The law would strip teachers of their pension and retiree health benefits if convicted. Tammie Powers has been lobbying in support of the bill.

After Hooker’s arrest, Olsen posted on Twitter: “So pleased to hear of James Hooker’s arrest! He has shown a pattern of predatory behavior and must be stopped.”

PREVIOUS CBS13 COVERAGE: Press Conference On Bill Making Teacher-Student Relationships A Crime

  • Whitey


  • Brea

    Amazing – you mean his relationship with Jordan wasnt his first time seeking out an under-aged girl who he directly influenced??

    Sad – all the signs of a pedophile. His ex-wife may want to ensure their daughters were not sexually abused by this pervert.

    • Nanker Phelge

      SInce when is having a sexual relationship with a 17 or 18 year old a sign of pedophilia? Have you ever taken the time to read a definition of pedophilia? Could you please do so before you post your knee jerk, ignorant comments on a public forum.

      • Hollywood

        In New York, New Jersey, and most other states, and practically any other country, this would have been a non-issue. If being attracted to 17-year-olds makes you a paedophile, then most heterosexual man are.

    • Rick Shannon

      Good call. Who knows what this dude was/is capable of?

  • JMHO

    That’s the best news I’ve had all week. The schmuck oozes slime.

  • Judy Hewitt

    I’m not going to be to quick to jump on this cause. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not for a teacher or any one else who is considered an adult becoming involved with a minor. Where I draw the line is laws indicating who can become involved with who when both parties are considered adults under the law. If a specialized law can be passed making it illegal for a now of age legally male or female to have a relationship with someone because that person was the male or females teacher at some point in the past then another law violating our civil liberties can also be passed. To show how backward a law such as this could be take a look at a scenario; A girl graduates at 18 and goes her own way. She and one of her former teachers accidently meet 10 years later. She’s now 28 and he’s 47. If a law like the one mentioned at the end of this article is on the books it would be against the law for the pair to become a couple and/or marry. There are laws already on the books making it illegal for a adult to have sex with a minor. That’s enough. Our political representatives have no business in our bedrooms or trying to tell us who we can and cannot be intimate with as long as both parties are consenting adults.

    • Dawn

      That’s not what the law would be according to this article. It says teacher-student relationships, not former teacher – former student relationships. If a girl graduates at 18 and meets the former teacher 10 years later, they aren’t considered teacher and student. This law is about punishing teachers and students still in the same school having a relationship, even if the student is 18.


      I think, or hope, that the new law would only be ‘while’ they are still in high school for example. I don’t believe anyone would ever pass a law saying they could Never become involved like you suggest. That would be crazy.

  • Shiela

    Thank goodness. It’s a shame that things like this happen and parents like myself have to question their trust in teachers and woory if they are going to end up in a petafiles arms. School should be a safe place we can send our children.

    • Anon

      BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA….. PETAFILES? That’s got to be the most hilarious misspelling of the year. PRO TIP – It’s PEDOPHILE’S. Sounds like you need to stop worrying about where children go to school and go to school yourself.

  • sassafras

    Thank God this pedifile has been arrested, if he is allowed to get away with this our schools will become a pedifiles paradise. You bet the government needs to be involved in this sort of relationship it is against the law. These a h’s always seek out young boys and girls from broken homes then befriend them and lead them to believe they care about them, they care about them alright they want to be friends for one reason only to have “SEX”with them. OUR POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES do have business in pedifiles bedrooms and they can arrest one of the parties for molesting a child that does not know any better, these slime crawlers are a disgrace to the human race.

    • Nanker Phelge

      THESE WOMEN WEREN’T CHILDREN MORON! Pedophilia is an attraction to pre-pubescent children. Are we now defining 17 year olds as pre-pubescent. Of course, considering you can’t even spell pedophile properly more than likely denotes that having an abstract thought would be far beyond your ability.

      • concerned parent

        @ Nanker FYI:
        hebephilia to refer to the sexual preference for earlier pubescent individuals, and pedophilia to refer to the sexual preference for prepubescent children.]However, the term pedophilia is commonly used informally to refer to any sexual interest in minors below the legal age of consent, regardless of their level of physical, mental, or psychological development.[6] Acting upon ephebophilic preference is illegal when the adolescent is below the legal age of consent (e.g. statutory rape).

      • concerned parent

        So basically it is illegal NOT A KNEE JERK REACTION

    • Hollywood

      In New York, New Jersey, and most other states, and practically any other country, this would have been a non-issue. If being attracted to 17-year-olds makes you a paedophile, then most heterosexual man would be that.

  • nothingchanges

    About time !!

  • Nemo

    Imagine that you have been arrested for having sex with somebody in 1998, fourteen years ago.

    You did not commit any crime.

    Exactly how do prove your innocence?

    Exactly how do they prove that you are guilty without relying on the testimony of the accuser?

    I’d be skeptical if I was on the jury. It will probably boil down to “his word against hers”, and that’s not enough to convict using the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in most cases.

    This guy may or may not be a pedophile, but proving that he is guilty is not a slam dunk by any means.

  • Haeley

    You know what is super scary??? That guy was my teacher my sophomore year of high school and that is my school. When I had him as a teacher he did not seem like he would do something like that. What is the world coming to these days?

  • sassy

    CBS debug this site PLEASE! I click to see the Tiger cubs at the San Diego Zoo and instead keep getting this jackas. I want to see and read about the cubs, please, please, pretty please.

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