HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - A teacher is behind bars after he allegedly started an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Thirty-year-old David Hodge admitted to committing sexual crimes involving a 13-year-old student.
“Good morning, sir, you were arrested on some serious charges,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy S. Glazer.
Parent Alexandra Jackson was left speechless after learning the West Homestead K-8 Center science teacher had been arrested.
“It’s a teacher having sex with students at school?” she said. “That – hmm.”
According to Miami-Dade Schools Police, back in October, when the victim was 12 years old, Hodge began sending her texts and private Instagram messages asking about school.
According to the police report, the victim said that those conversations quickly escalated and “developed into personal sexual talk,” which led to them exchanging nude pictures.
By the time the victim turned 13, things went a step further when, she said, Hodge asked her to “start meeting him at his classroom on Friday afternoons, after school,” and he told her “to tell her parents that she was staying after school for tutoring,” the police report states.
According to the victim, after the other students would leave the classroom, things would get physical with Hodge. They would engage in sexual touching from November to early January.
The victim was told by Hodge they were boyfriend and girlfriend.
“He said that this is his girlfriend, that he’s in love with her, that they have had sexual intercourse, according to him, on two separate occasions,” said a Miami-Dade Schools Police detective.
“That’s disturbing, too,” Jackson said. “My daughter is 13, she’s in the classroom with them. They’ve talked to this teacher. They all think that he’s a great teacher, and he’s just grooming little girls. That’s crazy.”
Hodge’s arrest also took parent Julio Pastor by surprise.
“That’s my daughter’s homeroom teacher. It’s shocking, it’s disgusting,” said Pastor.
Detectives said the victim eventually told her parents, who then went to police.
During the investigation, the teen provided text conversations as proof of their relationship.
Detectives arrested Hodge at the school on Wednesday. He faces four counts of engaging in sex acts with a child.
“You’re ordered to stay away from the 13-year-old child,” said Glazer.
The judge found probable cause to keep the teacher locked up.
“Based on the serious allegation of the charges, I’m required by law to hold him with no bond,” she said.
Hodge’s mother appeared in court virtually on Thursday. She described her son as a quiet person who loved his teaching job and did everything he could for his students.
“As his mother, and I may be prejudiced to this fact, this is very, very hard to believe that it is the case,” his mother said. “David has a fiancée that lives in – she’s at FIT [Florida Institute of Technology] in Melbourne, so this is unbelievable. This is a nightmare right now.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials said they’re aware of what happened and have already begun the process of terminating Hodge and banning him from working for the district again.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, an M-DCPS spokesperson wrote, “Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply troubled by the disturbing allegations made against this individual. As soon as the claims surfaced, the employee was immediately removed from the school setting. After a thorough investigation by the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department, this individual was subsequently arrested. Conduct such as the one he is accused of will not be tolerated. As such, the District has initiated employment termination proceedings and will ensure the individual is precluded from seeking future employment with the District.”
Hodge is being held without bond.
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