Mom accused of sex trafficking teen daughter to Mathews Co. yacht owner

Posted at 4:46 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 23:11:57-05

MATHEWS Co., Va. — A disturbing case of a mother accused of sex trafficking her own child to a wealthy Mathews County yacht owner went to court Wednesday.

A judge denied bond for William “Billy” Hooper, who faces more than a half dozen child pornography-related charges.

Meanwhile, the mother’s case is now being turned over to federal authorities while she remains in jail, accused of pimping out her 15-year-old daughter to Hooper.

In court Wednesday, Hooper’s lawyer said their client is being falsely accused.

“He has done absolutely nothing wrong; he’s a victim,” said defense attorney Conrad Bareford. “I’ve seen zero evidence that Mr. Hooper committed any crime whatsoever."

Mathews County sheriffs say between April and June of last year, Hooper was alone on his yacht with a an underage girl he hired to clean his boat.

Court documents reveal the girl was 15 and her mother, who we are not revealing to protect the victim’s identity, told Hooper about her high school-age daughter who needed a job.

Documents allege Hooper propositioned the underage girl to take pornographic photos and have sex with him for money, and the mother was also paid for her role. According to the criminal complaint, the girl told her mother, but Hooper encouraged her to bring her daughter to his yacht anyway.

In court, prosecutors said they spoke to a third alleged victim just last week.

Defense lawyers argued for bond because of health concerns after the 53-year-old had a heart attack while in jail that lead to a quadruple bypass surgery.

“We’re just hoping to get him cleared as soon as we can,” said Bareford.

The judge denied that request but granted prosecutors more time to put their case together.

Prosecutors told the judge they needed more time to get evidence back from the crime lab. They went on to say the victim is in counseling and say they have concerns over her ability to testify at this time.

The case is scheduled to resume on March 30 in Gloucester. The judge was adamant that there would be no further continuances, so prosecutors will need to be ready with witnesses to prove their case in six weeks.