The Modesto Bee With Permission
"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," James Hooker. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?'" Hooker is seen here with Jordan Powers.
A California teenager who broke off a romance with her 41-year-old high school teacher after he was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing another girl said the couple is now back together.
Jordan Powers, 18, told KOVR-TV on Tuesday the relationship was back on, and her mother said her daughter has cut off contact with the family.
News of their reunion came the same day a California Assembly committee voted down legislation that would have made it a felony for a teacher to enter into a romantic relationship with a student even if the student is over 18.
Powers and Christopher James Hooker made national headlines when they announced their relationship in February and he said he had left his wife and children to move in with his former student at Modesto's James Enochs High School.
Both insisted on talk shows and during news interviews that they did not have any sexual contact until Powers turned 18, and police launched an investigation to determine if that was true.
During the investigation, police said they uncovered a sexual relationship that Hooker had with a 17-year-old girl in 1998. He's been charged with one count of oral copulation with a minor.
A judge has entered a not-guilty plea on Hooker's behalf, and he's currently free on bail.
After Hooker's April 6 arrest, Powers said she ended the romance and moved out of their studio apartment.
But Tammie Powers, who had launched an aggressive media campaign to shame Hooker for courting her daughter, told the Modesto Bee that he called Jordan "relentlessly" while she was out of state with her family and she eventually returned to him.
"It is awful. This is what pedophiles, predators do. They isolate them from family," said Tammie Powers, who testified before the Assembly's public safety committee that considered the teacher-student bill.
Opponents of the bill, including the California Federation of Teachers and American Civil Liberties Union, said it was an overreaction to an isolated case, and could violate the rights of consenting adults.