Former Texas teacher Marka Bodine was sentenced last week to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of a 13-year-old student.
The Harris County sheriff's office reported that Bodine began abusing the boy in 2018. The former teacher exchanged sexually explicit texts, photos, and videos with the 13-year-old. Bodine admitted to having sex with the boy in her car and classroom several times.
The abuse was discovered when Bodine reported to the school that the former student was messaging her and threatening to kill himself. She also accused the child of accessing her private photos and manipulating the images.
The child told police that the teacher had initiated the "relationship" by playing an online game with him. The abuse lasted approximately three years before the child reported Bodine to the authorities in 2021.
The Harris County district attorney's office stated that Assistant District Attorney Jana Oswald "had asked the judge for a 20-40 yrs sentence, given the seriousness of her crime and the lasting effects of the crime and the impact on the child's life."
Instead, Judge George Glass sentenced the 32-year-old woman to 60 days in jail and 10 years of probation. Bodine was also ordered to register as a sex offender and undergo therapy.
In response to the verdict, Oswald told KPRC-TV, "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."
Dustan Neyland, Bodine's attorney, stated, "The court weighed in on all facts presented regarding the offense conduct as well as any mitigating factors. No case is like another and not every case deserves prison. The court has the obligation to make findings of what is in the best interest of society as well as the victim in determining the sentence and we believe the Judge followed the law and handed down an appropriate punishment."
Judge Glass decided to delay Bodine's jail time for one year. According to the Judge, it would allow Bodine to take care of her newborn child. Reportedly, the victim is not the father of Bodine's infant.
Jennifer Kratky, the mother of one of Bodine's former students, expressed that the community deserves to know why the teacher was given a light sentence. "To find out that she was only given 60 days, it's unbelievable," she told Inside Edition.