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Molester due back in court

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service
James Hope talks to Judge Jim EnEarl in court on Monday. Hope is charged in Douglas County with lewdness with a child under 14, which allegedly happened while he was awaiting trial in Carson City on allegations he had molested two sisters, ages 4 and 6. Shannon Litz/ Nevada Appeal News Service
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MINDEN – A convicted child molester is to appear in East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday to advise Judge Jim EnEarl if he has an attorney to answer similar charges in Douglas County.

James Ernest Hope, 43, told EnEarl on Monday he didn’t want to sign anything or waive his right to speedy proceedings without a lawyer.

“I wish I had an attorney right now. I don’t know how to answer these questions,” Hope said.

He asked EnEarl for attorney Tod Young, but the judge said Hope wasn’t allowed to request a specific court-appointed lawyer.

Hope said he would try to hire Young by Wednesday.

EnEarl set a preliminary hearing for July 27.

Hope is charged in Douglas County with lewdness with a child under 14 stemming from an incident which occurred Sept. 19, 2004, while he was awaiting trial in Carson City on allegations he had molested two girls who were 4 and 6.

Hope was returned to Douglas County Jail on Thursday from Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington where he is serving up to life in prison for felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

He pleaded guilty to the Washington charges Nov. 3, 2006.

According to court documents, the Minden girl told deputies that Hope made sexually suggestive comments and touched her inappropriately while her mother napped in another room.

The girl said she was watching television when Hope sat next to her on the couch.

The little girl ran to her mother, who ordered Hope out of the house and contacted deputies. According to court documents, she had known Hope for two weeks.

Hope, a Carson City painting contractor and former police cadet, disappeared after Douglas County issued a warrant with $100,000 bail in September 2004.

He was arrested in Washington in September 2006 after fleeing from police there who wished to question him after a girl told her mother he molested her.

Hope said he didn’t understand how he had been transferred to Douglas County.

“I was in the process of talking to a lawyer then I was taken down here,” Hope said. “My (Washington) attorney said I was supposed to see if there was probable cause to take me across the state line.”

EnEarl said he didn’t know what happened in Washington.

“I only know that you’re charged criminally here,” EnEarl said.

Hope is being held without bail.

After the Douglas County charge is adjudicated, Hope is to be transferred to Carson City where he is facing four counts of lewdness with a minor under 14 and one count of sexual assault of a child under 14.