HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A 30-year-old teacher appeared in Miami-Dade County court on Thursday to face charges after he confessed to sex crimes against a girl who is a student at his school, records show.
During David Hodge’s appearance in court, prosecutors said the West Homestead K-8 Center student was 12 years old when the sexual abuse started last year, and she is 13 years old.
On Jan. 6, the girl’s parents went to the public school, at 1550 SW 6 St., in Homestead, to report Hodge’s crimes and a school administrator reported it to the police, according to the police arrest report.
Detectives responded to the school and talked to the girl who told them Hodge was her “boyfriend” and they were engaging in a “romantic sexual relationship,” according to the arrest report.
Detectives also learned that Hodge and the girl started to communicate through text messages and Instagram direct messages last year in October when he was her science teacher and her chess club mentor, police said.
The two engaged in “sexual talk” and exchanged sexual pictures before 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 girl told detectives that the sexual activity in the classroom escalated in November and Hodge confessed when detectives questioned him on Wednesday, according to police.
Hodge had been teaching for seven years. Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement saying that after the initial report administrators removed him from the “school setting” and the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department started the investigation that resulted in his arrest on Wednesday.
“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 has been held without bond since Wednesday night at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He is facing four counts of engaging in a sex act with a child under custodial authority.
Watch the 11 p.m. report
Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Frine Gomez contributed to this report.