MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A woman who told police she was groped by a former state lawmaker and Trump fundraiser said she is outraged by him calling the incident “laughable” and said he did an about-face on his apology after she asked to dismiss the criminal charge against him.
Elizabeth Daly on Thursday issued a statement through her attorney in response to claims in a court action filed by former Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. Hooper was arrested in August on a sexual abuse charge after being accused of grabbing Daly’s breasts and body as she was working as a restaurant hostess. Prosecutors later dropped the case at Daly’s request.
The Associated Press doesn’t normally identify alleged victims of sexual abuse. But it is naming Daly because she identified herself in a statement to reporters.
Hooper filed an action against the city seeking a copy of his police file and a video of the incident. In the lawsuit, Hooper said that the abuse accusation was “laughable" and suggested he was the victim of a political set-up.
Daly, in her first public statement directly addressing the event, said there was nothing “laughable” about it. “I am outraged as a victim, a woman, and a human being, that in 2023, we are still getting sexual assault so wrong that a video of a woman being assaulted is classified as ‘laughable,' " Daly wrote.
She added that a video of the incident “tells a powerful story of sexual assault as a crime of opportunity, ownership, and degradation." The video, which came from restaurant cameras, has not been made public. According to an affidavit filed in court, Hooper was accused of grabbing the woman’s breasts and waist, kissing her on the neck and shoving his pelvis into her backside.
Tommy Gallion, a lawyer representing Hooper, said that accusation was “a lie.” He said Hooper kissed her on the cheek, put his hand on her side and thanked her for getting him a table.
Gallion said the indictment damaged Hooper's reputation and cost him business clients. He said Hooper wants to get a copy of the video to show publicly and try to restore his reputation.
“We are going to have a press conference and put it out there for the whole world for to see," Gallion said.
Hooper issued a statement in December apologizing to Daly when the case was dismissed,
Hooper is a member of a prominent Republican family. He served in the Alabama House from 1983 to 2003. Hooper, as chairman of Alabama Trump Victory in 2016, campaigned and raised money for former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. His father, Perry Hooper Sr., was a chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.