Hawthorne assistant arrested on sex charges

Sweet Home Police Department detectives arrested a Hawthorne School teacher’s assistant for first-degree sexual abuse on April 23.

Detectives opened an investigation of Troy Allen Hopper, 38, on March 6 after receiving a complaint that Hopper had allegedly had sexual contact with several grade-school students between 1997 and 2000, said Police Chief Bob Burford. The victims, now adults, attended Hawthorne Elementary School at the time.

The investigation revealed two male victims who allegedly had been supplied with alcohol and then subjected to sexual contact, Burford said. “The primary incident that we are focusing on right now did not happen on school property.”

Because of the elapsed time and statute of limitations, police are charging Hopper in only one of the cases.

Burford said Hopper turned himself in at 10:30 a.m. Friday after he was contacted by detectives.

Police believe it’s possible that there are more victims, yet unknown, who may come forward as a result of the investigation, Burford said.

“Troy is on administrative leave until more information is available concerning the investigation,” said District 55 Supt. Larry Horton.

Hopper had been placed on leave about two weeks ago, Horton said, when the district learned that charges were likely.