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Socialite arrested in child porn sting denied bail

By Francis Walshe
|
April 28, 2023

A federal magistrate has denied bail in the case of Eleanor Hunton Hoppe, a Virginia socialite who stands accused of attempted sexual abuse and child porn offenses, reported the Daily Mail.

Hoppe's attorney cited her standing in society in her bail application, and suggested that her father could watch over her if she was placed on house arrest.

Eppa Hunton V, the defendant's father, is a well-known attorney in the area, and a member of one of the state's most recognizable families in law in Virginia.

The application also cited Hoppe's health conditions, multiple sclerosis and restless leg syndrome.

Furthermore, it noted that she had worked in support of child advocacy organizations, and that she volunteered for her local church.

The court refused to allow the 45-year-old out on bail, opining that, while she was not a real flight risk, she posed a significant threat to society.

What Are the Charges?

Eleanor Hunton Hoppe is facing federal charges of enticement of a minor, transportation of a minor with attempt to engage in sexual activity, and distributing child porn, the Mail reported.

She was apprehended after allegedly initially approaching an undercover FBI agent about an encrypted messaging app in February.

On the platform, she allegedly sought to discuss details of the agent's abuse of his fictional eight-year-old daughter.

Officials allege that, following further messaging, the pair agreed to meet in a hotel to abuse the child in March. She was reportedly arrested upon arrival at the hotel.

Hoppe reportedly tried to tell police she was there to protect the daughter of the man she thought she was speaking to online. However, officers reportedly found silk underwear and lubricant in her car.

She also stands accused of sending child pornography to the FBI agent while he was still undercover.

Hoppe has pleaded not guilty to the charges facing her. She faces a sentence of at least 15 years in federal prison if she's convicted, the New York Post reported.

Hoppe's Family

Eleanor Hunton Hoppe's ex-husband is Joel Hoppe, a federal judge in the Western District of Virginia, the New York Post reported.

The judge filed for divorce in 2021, eight months after separating from his ex-wife. In the filing, he alleged she had sought to have sex with other men and women.

Joel Hoppe has filed for full custody of the pair's daughters since the emergence of this story.

The New York Post approached representatives of both Joel and Eleanor for comments on its story, but neither responded in time for publication.