A former Texas middle school teacher has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after confessing to sexually abusing a former student for three years!
Former Tomball ISD teacher Marka Bodine, 32, is about to sit in jail for only two months and 10 years of deferred adjudication probation after pleading guilty to continuous aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 14 years old. She must also register as a sex offender and undergo therapy following her sentence.
Bodine was arrested in April 2021 after the student called Tomball police and the school to complain of an ongoing, inappropriate sexual relationship with his former teacher. Her bond was set to $100,000, which she was able to pay off.
Bodine told the principal that the student had acquired access to her photos and manipulated them. She also stated that the student could potentially harm himself.
Marka’s sexual relationship began with the student when he was 13. The boy reportedly told investigators that his former teacher befriended him on an online video game and later sent texts to him. The two exchanged explicit photos and had sex in her classroom and vehicle after he turned 13 in 2018; this continued for an additional three years.
“Most of the investigation indicates it’s been about two and a half to three years. Both social media, text, and other forms of evidence. And it does appear that this is one of those cases where grooming of the child was involved, in other words, getting the person to feel trusted initially. 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,” said Tomball Police Chief Jeff Bert.
However, a judge ruled the former sixth-grade teacher will not have to serve time until June 2023 because she just had a baby.
Her attorney confirmed that the student is not the father, as reported by FOX 26. (��:ABC 13)
Many members of the community feel Marka’s sentence is too lenient. Harris County Prosecutor Janna Oswald, who requested Bodine serve 20-40 years, expressed her disappointment in the judge’s decision.
“There are certain types of cases that, in my opinion, really should only warrant punishment, and that is this kind of case,” said Oswald, chief of the Crimes Against Children Division. “I’m heartbroken for the complainant and his family. I’m really disappointed in the outcome as a prosecutor — a child abuse prosecutor, and I’m disappointed as a citizen of Harris County.”