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Hillary Hooper, 23, also allegedly known as "Softy"

Former Glouster Police Chief pleads not guilty, more charges appear on the way

A former Glouster Police Chief accused of helping a woman evade arrest plead not guilty to all charges against him at Athens County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.

He may soon have more criminal charges to worry about.

Lucas Mace already faces 12 criminal counts — five of which are felonies — but Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said he plans on taking the case back to a grand jury “within a month or so.”

That could mean more charges for Mace, who already faces three fifth-degree felony counts of obstructing justice, plus additional counts of theft in office and possessing criminal tools, both of which are fifth-degree felonies.

Lucas Mace also was released on a recognizance bond Wednesday, but not before his attorney Joseph Nemec questioned whether or not his client could even receive a fair trial in Athens County.

“There has been so much media attention,” Nemec said. “We are afraid that defendant Mace could have a hard time finding a jury who is able to hear this case impartially due to the amount of the scrutiny the media has brought in.”

The indictment stems back to activities that allegedly took place this spring between Hillary Hooper, 23, and Mace.

Mace allegedly helped Hooper elude local law enforcement officials, Blackburn has said, despite facing multiple warrants for her arrest — including one from Perry County. Another warrant was issued in Athens County after she was indicted for possession of heroin.

Blackburn has said Mace told Glouster Mayor Miles Wolf the woman would work as a confidential informant for his office, though there's nothing to indicate she provided Mace with any information.

Shortly thereafter, Blackburn said,

Mace began dating the woman, who he called "softy" because of she had "the softest skin he had ever touched."

They spent at least two nights together at Mace's house, he added.

Blackburn has accused Mace of using his position "as a dating service" from March 28 to May 23, adding that Mace allegedly opted not to execute multiple warrants. Mace also provided false information to one of Blackburn's investigators.

Mace has a pretrial hearing set for Nov. 7.


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