BANGOR — A martial-arts instructor from Augusta will spend 40 years in federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography, some of it showing him abusing two boys.

Wade Robert Hoover, 35, will also spend the remainder of his life under supervision by federal authorities.

The sentence was imposed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. who said Hoover’s conduct was masochistic and sadistic and included violence.

“It is hard for me to find words to describe your conduct in this case because your conduct is simply unspeakable,” Woodcock said. “You have not merely violated the law, you violated the most basic moral code in society. You preyed upon young boys when they were vulnerable.”

Woodcock said he concluded that Hoover set up his martial arts business to gain access to victims, won their trust and that of their parents, and that he drugged the victims in order to rape them and took his time videotaping it so he could watch it repeatedly.

“It was the court’s sad duty to view that video,” Woodcock told Hoover. “When Congress passed laws to protect children against sexual predators, Congress had some just like you in mind.”

The judge said one victim’s letter to the court said Hoover “took away my dignity and respect. I am ashamed of what he did to me.”

The mothers of both boys asked for Hoover to get the maximum 40-year sentence so he can never threaten a child’s innocence again.

“This was not a stranger who did this to my child, it was a friend,” one of the women said. “My son and I trusted him.” She said the results of Hoover’s abuse were devastating to her family.

The other mother turned to face Hoover, telling him, “You should be stripped of the title of veteran like you stripped our son of his innocence for your own needs.”

At the end of the hearing, Woodcock spoke directly to the families of the victims, commending them for their courage in coming forward.

“I hope the process has been both cathartic and healing,” he said, and they nodded in agreement. “The image that sticks in my head is of rambunctious, spirited young men. I hope for your purposes that side of these boys will shine through. I am confident it will.”

More than 30 spectators, including investigators and one young boy, as well as Kennebec/Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, watched the hearing.

Three of the spectators sat directly behind Hoover and spoke briefly with him after he entered the courtroom in handcuffs.

Hoover, wearing an orange jail uniform, sat at a table with his attorney, Virginia Villa. He continually wiped his eyes with tissues and frequently held his head in his hands.

“I’m pretty much damned in this world and the next,” Hoover told the judge after the attorneys presented their arguments. “I want to say I’m sorry, but I don’t think that word is going to show how really sorry I am. They have the right to hate me. I hate myself. I’m not going to ask for forgiveness. I don’t deserve it.”

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Todd Lowell, told the judge in a sentencing memo filed previously. “The abuse is horrible and the images of the abuse are chilling.”

Lowell had asked that Hoover spend close to 40 years in prison for his crimes followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Villa, assistant federal defender, suggested a sentence of 20 years, closer to the 15-year minimum.

“The most notable factor in this case is that the victims … have no memory of the abuse,” she wrote in her sentencing memo. “There is no indication they suffered bodily injury. They do not have to face a future in which the images of their abuse will be publicly traded, as Mr. Hoover never distributed the images he produced.

“As bad as this offense is, it could have been a lot worse,” Villa argued on Tuesday. “The images were not distributed; the genie remained in the bottle.”

She cited some other federal sentences imposed for child pornography distribution — rather than production — in Maine, saying they were not above 30 years in prison.

“The guideline suggestion of life imprisonment is not proportional,” Villa said.

One of Hoover’s computer hard drives had images and moves of Hoover sexually abusing one boy at various times 2008-2011, and separately had 12 images and a video of Hoover abusing a second young boy on April 4, 2012, according to court documents.

Hoover pleaded guilty to the federal child pornography charges Feb. 5.

“He is a pedophile who has demonstrated his willingness to act on his desires,” Lowell wrote. “He cannot be trusted with any child.”

Other images found on Hoover’s personal laptop, camera and hard drives had other images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. However, he did not create those, according to court documents.

A description of Hoover’s background says he had a broken childhood, an abusive mother and previously drank heavily.

He was in the military 2004-2008, earned a college degree in 2012, and worked most recently as a mental health support coordinator for National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine in Augusta. He also was a martial arts instructor for 20 years.

Hoover faces separate charges of gross sexual assault against the two boys in state courts.

In Kennebec County Superior Court last week, Hoover asked to get 12 of those charges dismissed, saying he was being subjected to double jeopardy, and that state prosecutors were using his admissions in federal court to charge him twice for the same offenses.

A judge rejected that plea and entered pleas of not guilty on Hoover’s behalf.

After Hoover’s sentencing hearing Tuesday, Maloney said she will continue to pursue the state charges against Hoover because that is what the victims’ parents want.

“I came to hear the victims,” Maloney said. “I wanted to hear what they had to say.”

Both she and later U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty — via email — praised investigators who worked on the case, including agents with the Department of Homeland Security and the Maine State Police.

In a letter sent from Somerset County jail to the media, Hoover said prosecutors and investigators were spreading misinformation about him and his crimes and that he wanted a fair sentence and an opportunity to be with his family again.

Hoover said false information has been published about his actions, and that he downloaded pornography “to supplement a porn addiction,” and that he “viewed mostly online, adult, fetish porn to get my fix.”

Hoover was owner and chief instructor at Koshowarrior’s Martial Arts and the United Martial Arts academies in Lewiston, where he taught children as young as age 3, according to Maine State Police. In the letter, he said he has never been accused of inappropriate behavior in his 20 years as a martial arts instructor.

He said he deserves punishment. “I stepped over the line and committed a bad act,” and that he hopes to be able to hug his young children again.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]