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DA on Hooper case to ‘assess the facts’

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday acknowledged a request to dismiss a sexual assault charge against a former Alabama lawmaker, but did not say whether it would drop the felony case.

“It is not uncommon for problems to arise in the prosecution of cases,” Montgomery County Chief Deputy District Attorney Azzie Taylor said in a written statement Tuesday “Prosecutors must step back, assess the facts and evidence in light of the issues that have been presented, and then conclude whether the State of Alabama can move forward or not.”

On Monday, the woman allegedly assaulted by Perry Hooper at a downtown Montgomery restaurant in August asked that the charge against him be 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,” Elizabeth Daly said in a written statement distributed Monday by her attorney.

“I so respect and appreciate law enforcement and the job they have to perform, nevertheless, I request these charges be dismissed,” Daly said.

Earlier this month, a Montgomery County grand jury indicted Hooper on one count of first degree sexual abuse. Daly was a witness before the grand jury.

No new motions have been filed in Hooper’s case this week, according to the state’s online records.

Additional information about the resolution between Daly and Hooper has not been available from her attorney. Hooper’s attorney, Joseph Espy, has not made any public comments about his client’s charge or returned phone call inquiries about the dismissal request.

According to police records, Hooper was leaving Ravello Ristorante on Aug. 16 when he approached the woman behind the host stand.

“The suspect grabbed the victim’s breasts and waist while shoving his pelvis against the victim’s backside,” an affidavit filed in Montgomery County District Court says. “He then began kissing her neck before she was able to break free.”

He was arrested on Aug. 24 and released from jail on a $15,000 bond. Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class C felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.

Hooper represented a Montgomery district in the Alabama Legislature for nearly 20 years until 2003 and is still involved in Republican politics as a member of the state party’s executive committee. In 2016, he was active in promoting Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Alabama.

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