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Hooper denied bond in federal court

William Wellington “Billy” Hooper of Mathews, facing federal charges related to sex offenses with an underage girl, was denied bond last week.

Hooper appealed his ongoing detention in a June 24 hearing, requesting that he be released on bond for health reasons. U.S. District Judge David J. Novak denied the request on the grounds that the weight of the evidence against the defendant is strong, he would be subject to a lengthy period of incarceration if convicted, and he has a prior criminal history.

Hooper is scheduled to be tried in federal court in September, with jury selection on Sept. 4 in the Richmond Courthouse of the U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia. Opening statements and testimony are scheduled for the following Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Hooper, 53, is charged with one count each of conspiracy and production of child pornography and with two counts of coercion and enticement. If convicted, he faces mandatory minimum sentences of 15 to 30 years on the first two charges...

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