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Ex-school psychologist enters porn plea

<p>Bill Roberts / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Former school psychologist Perry Allison Hood, 69, entered a no contest plea to one Category A felony Tuesday.</p>

Bill Roberts / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Former school psychologist Perry Allison Hood, 69, entered a no contest plea to one Category A felony Tuesday.

TONOPAH — A former Nye County School District psychologist pleaded no contest in District Court on Tuesday and faces 10 years to life in prison for using a minor in the production of pornography.

Four other counts against Perry Allison Hood were dropped as part of a plea deal in the case.

Judge Robert Lane accepted Hood’s plea to the Category A felony. Sentencing in the case is set for November. Hood still faces charges in Arizona.

When Hood told the judge he wanted to enter the no contest plea, Lane went into extensive questioning to make sure Hood understood the consequences of his plea.

Looking at the judge, Hood said in low tones that he is 69 years old, completed 11 years of college, reads and understands English, has read and considered his plea and that should he ever be released, he would always have to register as a sex offender.

He again affirmed the no contest plea and Lane asked prosecutor John Friel if the state was satisfied, to which Friel said yes.

Lane then told Hood his no contest plea would be considered the same as a guilty plea, as far as the court is concerned.

He asked Hood if he understood the nature of his crime and that only four very limited avenues of appeal are available.

“Yes I do,” Hood mumbled.

Hood’s attorney, Chris Arabia, interjected that his client understood the no contest plea “but he didn’t necessarily understand the consequences of what he was doing” when he committed the offense.

Lane was ready to proceed but Friel asked that the formal charge to which Hood had pled be entered in the record and Lane read the single count from the information filed against Hood.

Given a chance to speak, Hood said, “There was nothing in my mind of a sexual nature,” his voice becoming stronger as he detailed his actions.

He said he had been doing landscaping at his home at the corner of Bryan Avenue and Prospect Street with the young victim.

Having recently acquired a new digital camera, they began talking about it and Hood said he began explaining movies to the youth. He discussed silent movies and how films often have a villain and heroine.

Hood said she became interested and he told her he could make a movie with her as the heroine. He then tied her up and photographed her on his bed, insisting he had “no intent at any time of a sexual nature.”

At this point, Arabia acknowledged the court was “having an unabridged version” of the material associated with the single plea.

He said the guilty plea took into account the other four counts, which were based on more graphic images discovered in Hood’s possession.

“The picture of the tied up victim may not be sexual,” he said.

But that photo could lead to the introduction of other photos by Friel that could be much more damaging for Hood’s case if it went to trial.

Arabia also acknowledged that the defense was cutting to sentencing in an effort to not require any victims to testify. A preliminary hearing was waived in Justice Court to avoid the trauma of testimony and the same was a consideration in declining a trial, the defense attorney said.

Lane acknowledged that the parties had completed a full and accurate record and accepted Hood’s no contest plea.

Various parole and probation reports and evaluations will be completed in the case so the judge set sentencing for Nov. 19 at 1:15 p.m.

The child pornography charges against Hood were initiated early this year after Peoria, Ariz., authorities told Nye County deputies that a case they were working in Arizona might have ties to a NCSD psychologist living in Tonopah.

Hood recently moved into the former school-owned residence at Bryan and Prospect and deputies searched the home with a warrant.

The discovery of photos and other materials led to the filing of dozens of counts against Hood.

But in short order those were consolidated into five charges.

In a surprise move of sorts, Arabia took Hood before Justice of the Peace Jennifer Klapper and waived his preliminary hearing in an effort to get the matter into District Court.

Hood then appeared before Lane and Arabia sought to have him held for a psychiatric evaluation.

Lane granted the request and ordered Hood taken to the Lakes Crossing mental facility in Sparks for evaluation.

Upon his return, reports indicated that Hood was competent to proceed through the legal system. Lane concurred and ordered the defendant to the lower court for preliminary hearing.

After another short delay, Arabia waived Hood’s preliminary hearing and he was ordered before Lane for arraignment.