Trial begins for man accused in two-year pattern of sexual abuse of minor, dating back to 1997
The trial of a former Nevada County man who is accused of sexually abusing a minor and faces life in prison if found guilty kicked off Monday with jury selection, according to attorneys handling the trial.
Brian Hoobler, 54, who currently lives in Tennessee, has pleaded not guilty to 16 different felony charges all related to aggravated sexual assault of a minor, according to court records. The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges after learning of accusations by a woman, now in her 20s, who alleges that Hoobler sexually abused her for two full years, starting when she was 7.
Hoobler could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted on these charges, both prosecutors and defense attorneys involved with his case said.
Attorneys are in the process of selecting 12 jurors who will decide the case — a process expected to wrap up sometime next week, according to Public Defender Keri Klein, whose office is representing Hoobler. Upon the completion of jury selection, both prosecutors and Hoobler’s counsel will then deliver opening statements.
Deputy District Attorney Helenaz Moteabbed Hill will prosecute the case, and Deputy Public Defender Thomas Angell will represent Hoobler.
Klein declined to comment on Hoobler’s case, except to express that a “mere allegation” by the purported victim isn’t proof of her client’s guilt, and that her office maintains his absolute innocence against all charges.
Hoobler, who lived in Nevada County before moving to Tennessee, was arrested in February after the apparent victim in the case disclosed information to law enforcement that Hoobler had previously sexually abused her, reports state.
The victim, identified as “Leslie Doe” in court documents, alleges that in a period of time ranging between 1997 to 1999, Hoobler had sexually assaulted and abused her on numerous occasions, with some of the incidents taking place in Nevada County and some of the alleged abuse occurring in San Jose.
Multiple charges against Hoobler carry a sentencing range of 15 years to life in prison, court records state.
Hoobler, whose bond was set at $400,000 after his arrest, has remained in custody since February in the Nevada County Jail, according to court records.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com
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