MODESTO (CBS/AP) — The attorney for a former Modesto high school teacher who began a high-profile romance with a teenage student has asked a judge to dismiss sex charges against her client.

Forty-two-year-old James Hooker is facing one count of oral copulation with a person under 18 in connection with an alleged 1998 encounter with another teen.

His attorney, Mary Lynn Belsher, argued during a preliminary hearing on Tuesday that the charge should be dismissed, saying the statute of limitations has expired.

The Modesto Bee reports that a Stanislaus County judge is expected to rule on that request on Oct. 23. The preliminary hearing was delayed although Hooker’s alleged victim, now 31 years old, did testify earlier in the day.

Hooker made national headlines earlier this year when he left his family and job to move in with a former student, 18-year-old Jordan Powers.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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