HOMESTEAD, Fla. – David Hodge is a teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public School District. He has been charged with four counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child after reportedly admitting that he had sex with a 12-year-old female student multiple times in his classroom, according to records.
Hodge, 30, made an appearance in court on Thursday. Prosecutors said the West Homestead K-8 Center student was 12-years-old when the sexual abuse began last year. The victim has since turned 13, Local 10 News reported.
The victim’s parents brought the criminal allegations to the public school in Homestead on Jan. 6. A school administrator subsequently notified Miami-Dade Schools Police Department and the investigation was launched.
Detectives interviewed the student. They learned that Hodge and the girl started to communicate through text messages and Instagram direct messages last October. At the time, Hodge was her science teacher and chess club mentor.
The communication progressed and they engaged in “sexual talk” and exchanged sexual pictures. Finally, Hodge asked the girl to tell her parents that she was getting tutoring after a Friday chess club meeting and to stay in his classroom, according to police.
The relationship escalated and became physical in November. The girl had the belief that Hodge was her “boyfriend” and they were engaged in a “romantic sexual relationship,” according to the arrest report.
Hodge, who had been a teacher for seven years, was interviewed by detectives. He reportedly admitted on Wednesday to the sexual trysts, according to police.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement saying that Hodge was removed from the “school setting” immediately after law enforcement authorities began the criminal investigation that resulted in his arrest on Wednesday, according to Local 10 News.
“Conduct such as the one he is accused of will not be tolerated,” an MDCPS spokesperson wrote in a statement. “As such, the District has initiated employment termination proceedings, and will ensure the individual is precluded from seeking future employment with the District.”
Hodge was booked at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where he is being held without bail. He faces four counts of engaging in a sex act with a child under custodial authority.