RICHMOND, Va. – A federal jury has convicted a Mathews County man of charges of conspiracy to produce child pornography, production of child pornography and coercion and enticement of a child.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, William Wellington Hooper, Jr., 53, conspired with Jennifer Hutchens, 53, of Gloucester, to produce images of child sexual abuse of Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2. During the months of April and May 2019, Hooper and Hutchens coerced Jane Doe #1 to engage in sexually explicit conduct in Gloucester County and Mathews County. Hutchens, at the request of Hooper, recruited other minor girls to participate in what Hooper called “teen modeling”. He promised these children, whose families were struggling financially, that they would be compensated. Hooper also sexually abused Jane Doe #1.
Hutchens previously pleaded guilty to producing child pornography and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 13.
Hooper was convicted on Friday and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life in prison when sentenced on Feb. 9, 2021. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; L. Mark Barrick, Mathews County Sheriff; Darrell W. Warren, Jr., Gloucester County Sheriff; and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge David J. Novak accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa R. McKeel, Howard J. Zlotnick and Brittany M. Fisher are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:20-cr-18.