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Teacher’s sentence delayed for 1 year in sex abuse case after recently giving birth

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Nicole Hensley

Houston Chronicle

A 17-year-old boy testified that he was half the weight and nearly half the height of his former Tomball teacher amid years of inappropriate behavior — misconduct that on Tuesday led to a judge sentencing the defendant to 10 years deferred adjudication probation.

During one sex act, the Tomball Intermediate School teacher sat the teen on a chair and he recalled that his feet could not touch the ground.

The 32-year-old teacher, Marka Bodine, will also report to the Harris County Jail in a year to serve a 60-day sentence as part of that punishment, a delay intended to avoid separating the defendant from her 3-month-old child, the judge ordered.

The sentencing stems from Bodine being charged in April 2021 with aggravated sexual assault of a child. She pleaded guilty to the offense in May. Court records show Bodine worked at the Tomball school for seven years.

Details surrounding the investigation were divulged Tuesday during a pre-sentencing investigation to allow Judge Greg Glass in the 208th District Court to hear evidence in the case and decide the punishment.

A Tomball investigator testified that he searched phones belonging to Bodine and the student and found several illicit photos that were taken throughout their relationship. The abuse started in 2018, when the student was 13, and stopped about a week before he turned 16 in 2019, he said.

The student took the witness stand as his former teacher sat alongside her lawyer, and testified that their encounters started after she asked for his phone number to play Fortnite. The game turned to hours-long conversations about his parents’ divorce and her family life.

“I never had a person I could talk to about my feelings,” the teen said. “I was starting to love her in a way.”

The Chronicle does not typically identify victims of sexual abuse.

The relationship escalated as Bodine moved to the same apartment complex as the teen and continued when his family moved 45 minutes away from Tomball.

When Bodine ended the relationship, the teen said he struggled to cope with not having her to talk to anymore. At that point, he started to see that their relationship was inappropriate and that she had abused him, he said.

“It ruined me,” he told the court.

Bodine came forward to school officials to say that a former student had been harassing her and “making threats to report their relationship,” according to court records. She alleged that the teen gained access to “private photographs and manipulated images of her.”

The school officials were then made aware that the same student had made an outcry of abuse.

msbodinetis – Twitter

The student reported Bodine to authorities, prompting the teacher to confront him about the images on his phone and delete them.

“She told me I wouldn’t go to college, that I would go to jail,” the teen testified. “She said she would kill herself, go to jail.”

He said he contemplated suicide and on one occasion, he poured a bottle’s worth of Tylenol pills into his mouth but did not swallow. He spent a week in West Oaks Hospital, a mental health clinic.

Bodine had no prior criminal history in Harris County. Prosecutors in the case asked the judge to sentence Bodine to 20 years, while defense attorneys asked for deferred adjudication. As part of the sentence, Bodine is required to register as a sex offender and write an apology letter to the victim.

Source : Harris County Jail

She will be required to attend sex offender treatment for the remainder of the probation. If the former teacher successfully completes deferred adjudication, she will have no conviction on her record.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

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