Ex-mental illness worker to be sentenced Tuesday for production of child pornography

Posted July 02, 2013, at 8:43 a.m.
Last modified July 02, 2013, at 3:14 p.m.
Wade Robert Hoover
Kennebec County Sheriff
Wade Robert Hoover

BANGOR, Maine — An Augusta man who pleaded guilty in February to one count each of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court.

Wade Robert Hoover, 34, was arrested Oct. 3 at the Augusta office of the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, where he worked and originally charged in state court. He was arrested on the federal charge Dec. 7 at the Kennebec County Jail, where he has been held since October unable to post $100,000 cash bail.

Hoover, who had a karate studio in Lewiston, also has been indicted in Somerset and Kennebec counties on charges of sexually assaulting two boys separately. Both victims were under the age of 12 when the alleged abuse took place. Hoover has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Images of Hoover having sex with both boys were found on his personal computer, which he had at his workplace the day he was arrested, according to court documents. No images of child pornography were found on NAMI computers.

Hoover faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 40 years in federal prison on the production charge alone. He also could be fined up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell, who is prosecuting the case, recommended in a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court in Bangor that Hoover’s sentence be at or near the maximum allowed under the law.

Federal Public Defender Virginia Villa urged U.S. District Judge John Woodcock to impose a sentence of 20 years.

Hoover is due back in Somerset County Superior Court in August, according to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, who also is the head prosecutor in Kennebec County. Maloney has said she will ask that, if convicted on the state charges, Hoover serve any sentences imposed after he completes his sentence on the federal charges.

If convicted, Hoover faces up to life in state prison on the gross sexual assault charges due to the ages of his victims.

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.

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.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story said Hoover faces up to 30 years in federal prison on the production charge alone. Hoover faces up to 40 years.

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