A teacher has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old student whom he called his girlfriend in a classroom multiple times, police say.
David Augustine Hodge Jr., 30, from Florida, USA, was charged on Wednesday, February 1 with four counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child after the girl?s parents discovered the alleged abuse and reported him.
According to NBC 6, police accused Hodge, a science teacher and chess club mentor at West Homestead K-8 Center, of grooming the girl, who is now 13, in October last year.
He and the girl first started messaging each other via text and Instagram about school-related topics but the conversations shifted to a sexual nature, police say.
The girl told police that she and Hodge eventually started exchanging nude photos.
In November, Hodge allegedly asked the girl to start meeting him in a classroom on Friday afternoons after chess club finished. He told the student to tell her parents she was staying late for tutoring, police said.
Hodge is accused of having sex with the girl twice and engaging in other sex acts multiple times between November and last month.
The girl told detectives that she believed Hodge was her boyfriend and that they were in a romantic and sexual relationship together. The teacher allegedly confessed when questioned by cops, the NBC report adds.
The school district said they immediately removed Hodge from the campus when the girl?s parents reported the allegations and he is in the process of being fired.
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply troubled by the disturbing allegations made against this individual,? a statement from the district said.
“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 at the Miami-Dade County Jail after a judge on Thursday February 2, refused bond