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June 25, 2013

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

Wade Hoover is escorted from Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on Tuesday morning after refusing to enter a plea.

Admitted Augusta child pornographer balks at new charges

By Betty Adams
badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A martial arts instructor who has admitted to producing and possessing child pornography in federal court, refused to acknowledge 12 new charges in state court during an arraignment hearing, and was ordered removed from the courtroom.

Wade Robert Hoover, 35, of Augusta, argued briefly with Justice John Nivison, saying he wants to talk to the two defense attorneys representing him on the state charges and with District Attorney Maeghan Maloney to get the newer charges dropped.

He was in Kennebec County Superior Court to address an indictment on charges of 12 instances of gross sexual assault on a young boy in Augusta between Dec. 11, 2008, and Feb. 13, 2010.

Hoover is awaiting July 2 sentencing in federal court on the child pornography charges.

Hoover also has pleaded not guilty to an additional separate charge in Somerset County of gross sexual assault on a different boy, also under age 12, between April 1 and April 30, 2012, in The Forks.

Hoover was brought to court in Augusta from Somerset County Jail, his wrists and ankles shackled. His head was shaved and some tattoos were visible on his arms in the short-sleeved orange jail uniform.

"I'm getting really tired of ... being some political propaganda," Hoover said. He told the judge that false information keeps appearing in the news and in his case.

"I pled guilty, I took ownership," Hoover said about his federal charges.

On Tuesday, Nivison told him, "Mr. Hoover, we're not going to debate this any further."

Nivison ordered him out of the courtoom and to be held briefly in the courthouse to see whether the arraignment would go forward.

Hoover was represented Tuesday by attorney William Baghdoyan. Hoover said Baghdoyan had told him not to make a scene in the courtroom.

Before his appearance, in a letter mailed from Somerset County Jail to news media outlets, Hoover maintained he's being subjected to double jeopardy.

In his letter, he also asks for a conference with Maloney, district attorney in Kennebec and Somerset counties, saying he wants to avoid having her turn him "into the next Jeffrey (Dahmer) or John Wayne Gacy."

Hoover said she used material from his federal court case to gain those indictments.

Maloney said previously that while it is a federal crime to possess and produce child pornography, her office has charged Hoover instead with the state crime of sexually molesting two children.

She has said she will ask for those sentences to be consecutive to the federal sentence.

In court on Tuesday, Maloney asked that the arraignment on state charges go forward, while also asking for $25,000 bail and an order banning Hoover from contact with children under 18. According to Hoover's letter, he has two children, ages 1 and 4.

"How does it hurt for them to come see me in jail?" Hoover asked.

Bail, however, is moot, since Hoover is already being held on his federal conviction.

Hoover said false information has been published about his actions.

He admitted he downloaded pornography "to supplement a porn addiction," and that he "viewed mostly online, adult, fetish porn to get my fix."

Hoover was owner and chief instructor at Koshowarrior's Martial Arts and the United Martial Arts academies in Lewiston, where he taught children as young as age 3, according to Maine State Police. In his letter to the media, he said he had never been accused of inappropriate behavior in his 20 years as a martial arts instructor.

He said he does deserve punishment. "I stepped over the line and committed a bad act," but that he hopes to be able to hug his young children again.

That might not be possible any time soon.

According to documents in his federal case, prosecutors are asking for him to serve a sentence that comes close to the 40-year maximum penalty for those crimes. The public defender representing him argued in writing that Hoover should receive a sentence nearer the 20-year minimum.

Hoover was returned to the courtroom about 20 minutes after he was ordered out, and shortly afterward acknowledged that he understood his rights and answered, "Yes, sir" as the judge read aloud the dates of 12 charges alleged.

Baghdoyan said Hoover did not wish to acknowledge the charges, but realized the judge would enter a plea of not guilty to all charges on Hoover's behalf.

Baghdoyan also said conditions as written do not prevent Hoover from visits with his children at jail.

Hoover was arrested Oct. 3 by state and federal agents at the Bangor Street office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine, where he worked. At that time, he was charged with possession of sexually explicit materials of minors under age 12, a felony offense carrying a five-year maximum sentence.

That charge was later dropped in favor of the federal charges which carry longer sentences.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
badams@centralmaine.com



Staff photo by Andy Molloy

Wade Hoover rolls his eyes during his arraignment at Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on Tuesday.



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