Former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. is asking a court to force the Montgomery Police Department and City of Montgomery to turn over video of an incident that led to his arrest and indictment on a count of first-degree sexual abuse.
Hooper was arrested in October following a complaint filed by a hostess at a downtown Montgomery restaurant. That complaint, which has been widely distributed, includes the victim’s statement that Hooper came up behind her, grabbed her breasts, began thrusting his pelvis into her and then started to kiss her neck before she could break away.
The charges against Hooper were dropped after the alleged victim decided not to pursue prosecution, saying she had “settled” the matter with Hooper and said “the turmoil of a trial would give no more justice than a sincere public apology” from Hooper. Upon the dismissal of the charges, Hooper followed through with a public apology.
But now Hooper is claiming the charges were part of a political attack due to his support of Donald Trump and that “this was a planned and orchestrated set up by Hooper’s political enemies.” The claims are part of a lawsuit that primarily seeks the police record of the incident, including video footage.
“I filed this because the city would not let me see Perry Hooper’s police record,” said Tommy Gallion, who is representing Hooper in the suit. “They first of all said it was under investigation which was laughable; it was ‘nolle prossed’ two weeks before I asked them. Then they changed and said that they didn’t have to produce it.”
The City of Montgomery declined to comment on the matter to APR, citing the active litigation.
Gallion said he is looking specifically to obtain the video of the incident, which the suit describes as “laughable.”
“What we want to get is the video that was 2.2 seconds and have a press conference and we’re going to put it up on the board and let the people decide — and they’ll laugh if they think that’s sexual harassment,” Gallion said. “It’s incredible. It’s a rather machiavellian type of situation, it goes to the top, the people who were behind getting Hooper — but I don’t want to falsely accuse somebody untilI I get the absolute proof. We’re going to show the video: 2.2 seconds, he put a hand on the hip, pecked on the cheek, he said ‘thank you for getting us a table,’ she said ‘you’re welcome’ and he left. It. Ballgame.”
Gallion’s description of the video is secondhand— he clarified MPD has not allowed him to see the video, nor has Joe Espy, the attorney who represented Hooper during the criminal investigation. According to Gallion, Espy promised the source of the video that he would only show it to the Hooper family.
In addition to his secondhand descriptions of the video, Gallion said he has heard from “12 to 15 people” who were present during the incident who said “there was nothing to it.”
Gallion also clarified on Hooper’s behalf that the apology Hooper issued on Dec. 6 following the dismissal of the case was not an apology for sexual harassment.
“What happened is he apologized to the mother, and the girl, for having her involved in this and for just walking up and — not sexually harassing her — but, you know, maybe he shouldn’t have walked up and kissed her on the cheek and said ‘thank you for the table.’ Which if that were the case, I would be in Kilby,” Gallion said.
The suit makes numerous claims without providing substantiating evidence.
In the claim, Hooper states that “based on information and belief, whoever was behind this ‘set up’ had a press release sent out locally and nationally before (Hooper) was arrested. The press release contain (sic) false and defamatory information.”
Attached to the suit are multiple news stories about Hooper’s arrest, but not the “defamatory”press release.
It also alludes to the alleged victim’s “troubled past” but does not explain further. In Hooper’s apology, he referred to her in his apology as “an exemplary person.”
The suit also claims that the victim’s mother told the plaintiff that “her daughter had been used” and was involved in the decision not to prosecute.
Gallion further commented that the victim’s mother “blew her roof off, she couldn’t believe people had used her daughter.”
Gallion also claims that Hooper was not arrested by U.S. Marshals.
As for the indictment, the suit claims someone from the Montgomery Police Department went before the grand jury “and lied about the facts” to secure the indictment.
The only way to get to the bottom of this “political attack,” the suit says, is to “obtain the actual facts from the main source,” which is the Montgomery PD.
“Not doing so is an obstruction of justice and would allow governmental ‘cover-up’ of a serious matter that has destroyed the life of an innocent individual.”
Gallion said the accusation has destroyed Hooper’s life.
“He’s lost clients, he lost a major contract,” Gallion said. “I know what happened, but I don’t want to say anything at this point. I would advise the people involved in this to lawyer up.”
Melissa Isaak is serving as co-counsel for Hooper. The men’s divorce attorney notably represented former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in his cross-defamation suit against Leigh Corfman, which ended in a stalemate.