MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An ex-Alabama legislator who campaigned in the state for former President Donald Trump has been charged with groping a woman at a restaurant.
Perry Hooper Jr., 67, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree sex abuse. An affidavit filed with the arrest warrant said Hooper was leaving the upscale Ravello Ristorante in downtown Montgomery on Aug. 16 when he approached the victim from behind at the host stand.
“The suspect grabbed the victim’s breasts and waist while shoving his pelvis against the victim’s backside. He then began kissing her neck before she was able to break free,” the affidavit stated.
A text message to Hooper seeking comment Wednesday was not immediately returned. It was unclear if he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
State law defines first-degree sex abuse as subjecting a person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. It is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Court records show Hooper was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and released on a $15,00 bond.
Hooper, a member of a prominent Republican family, served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1983 to 2003 and remained active in GOP politics after leaving office. He is a current member of the executive committee of the Alabama Republican Party, and was a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention. He raised money for Trump’s first presidential race and said he was chairman of Alabama Trump Victory in 2016. Hooper’s father, Perry Hooper Sr., was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
The Alabama Republican Party said it “strongly condemns all forms of sexual abuse and sexual assault.”
“We will be monitoring this situation closely as it makes its way through the judicial process,” the party said in a statement.