An elementary school teacher in Florida faces multiple charges after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student, which reportedly included hookups inside the classroom, authorities said.
Davis Augustine Hodge Jr., 30, of Homestead, was charged Wednesday with four counts of engaging in a sex act with a minor older than 12 — the minor was a 13-year-old former student of his who he called his “girlfriend,” police said.
Investigators said Hodge was involved with the school’s chess club and abused his position to have sex with the minor, who was a member of the club, when the team met after school on Fridays at the West Homestead K-8 Center. They met on at least four occasions, each involving sexual contact.
Police said the teacher waived his right to remain silent, confessed to the accusations, and referred to the teen as his “girlfriend.”
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Investigators said Hodge was the student’s science teacher last school year when the child was 12. They then engaged in speaking over social media.
Their conversations, which took place over Instagram, started off about school but grew sexual in nature and later included both the child and Hodge sending nude photos.
According to court records, he later instructed the child to lie to her parents to they could meet up, saying she should “tell her parents she was staying after school for tutoring.”
Hodge and the child had sex three times in November and once more on Jan. 6, the last time they were alone together, police said.
He appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy S. Glazer on Feb. 2, when he was assigned Miami-Dade public defender Anna Nicole-Cooke.
“Sir, you were arrested on some serious charges,” the judge told him.
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She also denied him bond.
“Based on the serious allegation of the charges, I’m required by law to hold him with no bond,” she said.
Alexandria Jackson, a parent of a 13-year-old at the school who met Hodge, said she was “disgusted” by the alleged crimes.
“My daughter is 13, she’s in the classroom with them. They’ve talked to this teacher,” Jackson said, WSVN reported. “They all think that he’s a great teacher, and he’s just grooming little girls. That’s crazy.”
“They had interactions with him and thought that he was a fun-loving teacher but all along he was a predator? It’s just crazy to me,” Jackson told Local 10 News in the parking lot of the school.
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Julio Pastor, another parent added: “That’s my daughter’s homeroom teacher. It’s shocking, it’s disgusting.”
Miami-Dade Public Schools has begun the process of formally terminating his employment, a district spokesperson said in a press release.
“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,” the statement said, WSVN reported.
The statement added: “After a thorough investigation by the Miami-Dade 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 remains jailed at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.