Looking at James Hooker and Jordan Powers together you get the impression that they're just two normal people in love, albeit the age difference. He is 41. She is 18. He used to be her teacher in the Modesto high school where he taught for over 15 years. They fell in love, and once she turned 18 last september, they say they became romantically involved. This week, after he resigned his job and left his own family, they moved in together. 

So what's so wrong with that? Nothing really, except that Powers' mother is crying bloody murder because she claims the relationship started way before her daughter turned 18 and that Hooker was in pursuit of her "...with some kind of intent" as evident from the 8,000 text messages, late-night calls and emails that she discovered between the two. 

It is illegal for an adult to have sex with anyone younger than 18 in the state of California and so the police has launched an investigation to uncover whether or not the physical relationship between Hooker and Powers started when she was a minor. Hooker has said he is confident he'll be cleared because the police won't be able to find evidence of something that simply didn't happen. But the 18-year-old's mother, Tammie Powers, is not staying quiet. She has been very public on Facebook about her beliefs and has gone as far as calling Hooker a "sick child molester," according to The Huffington Post

Hooker was definitely in a position of power as an educator whose students looked up to, but did he really take advantage of that when he started pursuing Powers, like her mother says? Or is this simply the case of two people who fell in love with each other and decided to follow their hearts even though they knew there would be a whole lot of wrath directed at them?

If the investigation finds that Hooker was indeed having a relationship with a minor, does this become a completely different story? Well, for starters, he can be prosecuted for his crime, but I don't think that would change the feelings they both claim they have for each other.

As a mother, I really feel for Tammie Powers. I don't know what I'd do if my daughter was in that situation. Whether the police investigation finds wrongdoing or not, I don't know how she'll evr be able to have relationship with her daughter again. 

What do you think? Is it wrong for these two people to be togehter? What if this happened with your daughter?

Image via ABCNews.com

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Obviously we know that he probably was having sex with this child.. I am outraged by this story because something similar happened to me and to the day my family is still suffering... I can't believe that at 18 we make children adults but nonetheless they can't even think at this age kids are so vulnerable and I do belief she is being manipulated.

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Obviously, this man took advantage of his position of authority. Was this article proofread before publication?
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I'm shocked by the rvasquez12 that she "can't believe" that people become adults at 18! This man obviously has good intentions for this woman. I can't believe he abused his authority because he didn't just sleep with her then leave her. I can't judge them because of their age difference. And though they obviously began some sort of relationship before she turned 18 does not mean they had sex. If they did, I would question their intelligence since that is technically a crime. But it does not make him a pedophile. A pedophile is someone who is attracted to pre-pubescent children. Those that judge this man are just uptight puritan suburbanites who want to control our daughters for their lifetimes.
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If this 18 yrs old ADULT woman says she is in love with this ADULT man and that there was no physical relationship while she was a minor, then that should be respected. I do not understand why parents continue to try to control their children and force them to do what THEY want when they're adults. And yes, I have 3 grown children that I trust to be adults and make their own decisions. They make excellent ones and they respect me as I respect them.
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The age of consent in California is 18 and in New York it is 17. In 30 states and Canada, it is 16. 18 year olds are not children! Trying to force them to be children results in them running away and moving in with 41-year olds!
It is unusual but possible. He is wrong leaving his family but her choice is unclear and she is now old enough for a deep decision. She has much to learn about life. I question his as she is so much younger, what can they have in common? Time will tell.
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She is 18 years old. I am sorry, but I cannot fully believe she knows what she wants out of life already. So why do they think this is love? More power to them if it is, but it still doesn't seem right. Can't pass judgement though.
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It's two people in love. And California should lower its age of consent - 18 is way too high.
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it must be love, that dude is ugly as hell.
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This young lady was pursued since the age of 17 and if this information had been made available to the police. This teacher would have been arrested and would have lost his job. He did pursue her at 17, so that in itself is illegal. Waiting until the day she was 18 years old to move her out of her mother's house is the desperate act of a pedophile. He sought sex and an inappropriate relationship with a minor. He sent hundreds of emails to her while she was a minor. He is just as bad as someone online pursuing her at the age of 17 but in this case, she knew her pursuer. And if her mom knew of this before she turned 18, it should have been reported to the police. She is just as guilty for not reporting it to the school and the police department. The superintendent of schools in that district should recommend that he not teach in any schools where the students are under 18. The police should check the texts that he sent to her while she was 17 to determine if a crime was in fact committed. Who ever would endorse such of an act is not thinking clearly and is unfit to be a mother of a minor. The mother should also be charged with child endangerment!
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