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July 17, 2013

Victim speaks out at Modesto teacher's sentencing hearing

Michelle Miller's hand quivered Wednesday as she tightly held a written statement and explained how at 17 years old she became involved in a sexual relationship with a Modesto high school teacher 11 years her senior.

She met James Hooker at a Future Business Leaders of America conference. He was then a business teacher at Davis High; she was a senior at cross-town Beyer High.

"There were no warning signs I could see," Miller said while reading her victim impact statement in a Stanislaus County courtroom. "James Hooker didn't act like a predator."

She said she suffered from depression, had lost contact with her friends and her boyfriend had moved two hours away for a job. Miller said she was vulnerable, and Hooker took advantage of that vulnerability.

"The person responsible is James Hooker," Miller said.

Hooker was sentenced Wednesday after pleading no contest earlier this week to a misdemeanor charge of having oral sex with Miller 15 years ago. The defendant sat quietly in the courtroom as Miller read her statement.

Read more from The Modesto Bee.

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