Watch CBS News

Teacher at West Homestead K-8 Center arrested, accused of romantic, sexual relationship with student

West Homestead K-8 Center teacher arrested, accused of sex with student
West Homestead K-8 Center teacher arrested, accused of sex with student 03:09

MIAMI -- A teacher at a Homestead school on Thursday is facing charges in connection with allegations that he carried on a romantic sexual relationship with a student who was 12 years old at the time, according to the arrest affidavit.

David Augustine Hodge Jr., 30, of Tamarac, who has taught at West Homestead K-8 Center since 2016, was arrested on Wednesday and booked on suspicion of engaging in a sexual act with a child.

A judge on Thursday declined to set bond for Hodge, who was being held at the Miami-Dade County Jail.

According to Miami-Dade police, parents of the girl, who is now 13, told investigators that the man had a sexual relationship with the girl that apparently started last October.

In court, Miami-Dade schools police detective John Messenger said "he said she said she was his girlfriend and they had sexual intercourse on 2 separate occasions, once without protection and once with protection."

Also in court, the teacher's mother Rhonda said "This is very hard for us to believe that this has happened. David was raised in a family that believes in education and has relatives in law enforcement."  His father Augustin said "I would like you to take into consideration that David has never had a traffic ticket. I know he has been held without bond but maybe he can be under house arrest. I would just like leniency."

Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer held him without bond and ordered him to stay away from the victim.

With her mother's permission, one of Hodge's former students Keyna Yunis spoke with CBS4's Peter D'Oench. She said "I wasn't surprised. Everybody knew something was going to happen."

She was asked how she felt about the arrest.

"I feel it was meant to happen," she said. "In some way or another. You have to be careful. You never know what your teacher is doing. You never know what is happening."

Mary J. Park, who is a grandmother of a student at the school, said "I am very upset. I was very upset. This is uncalled for. She is just a child. She is a baby and he is an adult."

Iris Tejera, who also has a grandchild at the school, said "If that was one of my children and I found out about it I would be the one arrested. I am terrified. How can this happen at the school? Children are not safe nowadays."

In a written statement, the school district said they removed Hodge from campus after learning of the allegations. 

"Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply troubled by the disturbing allegations made against this individual," the district statement 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 was the girl's science teacher and director of the school's chess club, of which she was a member, according to officials.

Police detectives wrote that the relationship began with texts and direct messages sent via Instagram that allegedly included an exchange of pictures between the two of their sexual private parts, according to the police report.

The online communication between the two advanced to touching and ultimately progressed to oral sex and penetration on numerous occasions from November to Jan. 6 of this year, according to the police report.

The police officer said the girl was unable to provide exact dates and the number of times the two met for sex.

According to officials, the two would engage in a relationship after the chess club meeting had ended and other student members had left the classroom

The girl "stated that she and Hodge are boyfriend/girlfriend because Hodge informed her this," the police officer wrote.

Police said the girl provided text messages that corroborated her account of their romantic and sexual relationship.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.