Former Trump campaign co-chair in Alabama charged with sex abuse after allegedly groping woman at restaurant

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A former Alabama Republican lawmaker who campaigned in the state for former President Trump is facing a sex abuse charge for allegedly groping a woman at a restaurant, according to the affidavit. 

Perry Hooper, Jr., 67, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree sex abuse in connection to an incident that occurred in downtown Montgomery on Aug. 16, Montgomery Police Capt. Saba Coleman told The Associated Press. 

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,” according to the affidavit.

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Alabama 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. 

Coleman said Hooper was identified as a suspect in the incident that occurred around 8 p.m. in the 100 block of Commerce Street in Montgomery. The area has several hotels, restaurants and bars. 

He was taken into custody Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Task Force and then placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility. Court records show he has since been released on $15,000 bond.

A member of a prominent Republican family, Hooper 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 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 obtained by the AP. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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