USA

Texas teacher accused of sexually abusing former student

A Texas middle school teacher has been accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a former student, police said.

Marka Bodine, an English teacher at Tomball Intermediate School outside Houston, was arrested Saturday following an investigation into allegations made by a former student, Tomball police said in a statement.

Bodine, 31, was taken into custody on a felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child after a former student at the school contacted police on April 12.

Tomball police Chief Jeffrey Bert told KRIV that Bodine allegedly abused the male student for roughly two and a half years.

“It was definitely a cry out for help,” Bert told the station of the victim. “He had reached out to a school, and he reached out to the police department as well, so I think he just became overwhelmed with it and reached out to us.”

Bodine made her initial court appearance Monday, the station reported. She told police that one of her former sixth-grade students had been harassing her and threatened to harm himself, court documents show.

But investigators allege Bodine had a three-year sexual relationship with the same boy who is now 16. Court documents indicate she admitted to sex acts with the victim starting in 2018 and continued having them even after he moved, the station reported.

“It does appear that this is one of those cases where grooming of the child was involved, in other words, getting the person to be feel trusted initially,” said Bert. “Our big concern from the police department right now is to ensure that we have all the evidence of this case, but to ensure that there’s no other children involved.”

Marka Bodine
Screenshot ABC 13

Bodine also confessed to sending the boy dozens of explicit photos and videos, the station reports.

District officials, meanwhile, said they immediately placed on Bodine on administrative leave upon being notified of the criminal investigation. She later resigned and is no longer employed by Tomball ISD.

Tomball police and child welfare officials are now conducting independent investigations in the accusations, district officials said.

“Any and all employee misconduct allegations are taken seriously and are investigated thoroughly and promptly,” district officials said in a statement to The Post. “The safety of our students in Tomball ISD is our number one priority and any substantiated allegations of employee misconduct will not be tolerated.”

Counselors ready to provide “social-emotional support” to any student or staffer in need will be made available at the school for fifth- and sixth-graders, district officials said.

Bodine was booked into the Harris County Jail, where she was released after posting $100,000 bond and ordered to wear a GPS monitor, KPRC reported.

One parent of a child in the district told KPRC she was very disturbed by news of Bodine’s arrest.

“I just got the email this morning and honestly that kind of stuff outrages me,” the woman said.

A LinkedIn page for Bodine indicates she had worked as an English teacher for Tomball ISD since August 2015.

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