AUGUSTA — The case of convicted child sex abuser and pornographer Wade R. Hoover is scheduled to return to state court next week as he seeks a reduction in his 60-year sentence for sexually assaulting two boys who were under age 12.

The 38-year-old former martial arts instructor from Augusta raped two boys under age 12 in Kennebec and Somerset counties between December 2008 and April 2012 and recorded those attacks, which allowed authorities to identify him.

When Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy imposed the sentence on Hoover this past February, she said she understood that it was a “de facto life sentence” for Hoover.

Now, Hoover is contesting the justification for “such a lengthy sentence,” according to court documents. A hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the at the Capital Judicial Center.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh is expected to argue that the 60-year term is appropriate in Hoover’s case.

“The sentence fit the crime,” District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Friday. “Mr. Hoover used his position as a karate instructor to gain access to young boys, two of whom he drugged and penetrated, and one on more than one occasion. Legislative statute tells us to start our sentencing analysis at 20 years for each time a child under 12 is sexually assaulted. The judge found multiple aggravating factors and arrived at a fitting sentence. The children of our community need to be protected from Mr. Hoover.”

Murphy ordered Hoover’s sentence to be concurrent with the 40-year sentence imposed in federal court, meaning Hoover would go into state custody for the additional 20 years after finishing the federal sentence. That date is listed as Aug. 8, 2047, on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

He was previously sentenced to 40 years in federal court in July 2013 on charges of sexual exploitation of two boys and child pornography, telling that judge, “I’m pretty much damned in this world and the next.” He is serving the sentence at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, and is not expected to attend the hearing next week in Augusta where he is protesting the longer sentence he received in state court.

Hoover, who is represented in the current appeal by attorney Scott Hess, is being allowed to appeal his sentence based on his contention that in imposing a de facto life sentence, “the court failed to sufficiently outline the justification for such a lengthy sentence.”

Hoover’s motion for sentence reduction/correction was allowed by a panel of three Maine Supreme Judicial Court justices.