Former mental health worker pleads guilty to production, possession of child pornography

Posted Feb. 05, 2013, at 5:38 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 05, 2013, at 6:09 p.m.
Wade Robert Hoover
Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office
Wade Robert Hoover

BANGOR, Maine — An Augusta man waived indictment and pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to one count each of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

A sentencing date for Wade Robert Hoover, 34, has not been set.

Hoover originally was charged in state court with possession of sexually explicit materials after child pornography reportedly was found on his personal laptop. Those charges most likely will be dropped after he is sentenced in federal court.

He was arrested Oct. 3 at the Augusta office of the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, where he worked.

Hoover was arrested on the federal charge Dec. 7 at the Kennebec County Jail, according to court documents.

He has been held without bail since his arrest in October.

Hoover was charged Oct. 5 in U.S. District Court in Bangor in connection with an alleged sexual assault on a boy who took martial arts lessons at the Lewiston karate studio where Hoover taught classes, according to court documents.

Investigators went to the NAMI office after an agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who was monitoring the Ares computer network saw that 10 known videos of child pornography had been made available over that network to an IP address registered to NAMI, which provides support, education and advocacy to the mentally ill and their families.

No evidence of child pornography was found on the NAMI server, according to court documents. In Hoover’s office, however, police found a laptop computer on the desk next to the office desktop computer.

Hoover allegedly admitted to investigators that he used his personal laptop computer to log into the Ares network and download child pornography.
During his discussions with agents, Hoover admitted that he “has a sexual preference for boys between 12 and 14 years of age,” according to court documents.

He was charged Oct. 5 in U.S. District Court in Bangor after investigators interviewed him and examined the hard drives on his computers and a card from a camera. Police found still photographs and videos of Hoover allegedly sexually assaulting a boy who appeared to be between 10 and 13 and asleep, according to court documents.

If convicted, Hoover faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison on the production charge alone. He also could be fined up to $250,000.

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