Fired Daytona treatment center worker arrested on child molestation charges

DAYTONA BEACH -- The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has arrested a former child specialist following accusations that he molested a teenage client at the residential addiction treatment program where the man worked.

The accused, 34-year-old Corey Hodges, was fired by Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare after the allegations surfaced earlier this month. While no other criminal offenses were uncovered during the investigation, Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said, "Other teenage girls at the program said that Hodges was a pervert who would stare at their bodies, make inappropriate sexual comments and purposely drop things so that he could watch them bend over to pick them up.

Hodges (DOB: 4/13/78) is facing one charge each of lewd or lascivious molestation and lewd or lascivious conduct. The victim is a 15-year-old girl who is a client at the Residential Adolescent Program run by Stewart-Marchman-Act. Hodges started working at the Daytona Beach facility in February.

Earlier this month, the girl disclosed that Hodges had molested her two times last month while she was in her room at the RAP program.

"On both occasions, the victim said Hodges touched her breasts under her shirt and also rubbed her over her clothes and kissed her on the lips," Davidson said. "Both times, she said that Hodges told her not to tell anyone about it. On a third occasion, the girl said that after she broke her finger playing football, Hodges drove her to the hospital. On the way back, the victim said that Hodges rubbed her thigh and told her to pull up her shorts, but she refused and nothing more happened."

Investigators with the Sheriff's Office's Sex Crimes Unit interviewed other teenage girls at the program.

"One, a 17-year-old, told investigators that Hodges would ask her for hugs, made comments about other girls' bodies and talked about beating up a boy she was dating because Hodges was jealous," Davidson said. "An 18-year-girl said Hodges told her that she should be a stripper because she had a nice body. And a 14-year-old girl revealed to investigators that while going through heroin withdrawal, Hodges ordered her to get out of her bed even though she told him that she was naked. She got up and tried to cover herself with a blanket, but she said that Hodges ordered her to drop it."

During questioning by investigators, Hodges -- who lives in Palm Coast -- denied the allegations. Surveillance video from inside the facility showed Hodges going into one of the girls' rooms, in violation of staff policies, the Sheriff's spokesman said, adding he also violated their policies when he drove the girl to the hospital instead of having a female employee do it.

"Investigators offered Hodges an opportunity to submit to a voice stress analysis, but his lawyer told him not to take the test," Davidson said. On Monday, investigators with the Sheriff's Office's Sex Crimes Unit obtained an arrest warrant for Hodges. He was arrested Tuesday by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, where he's being held on $60,000 bond.

Any other victims or anyone with information about Hodges is asked to call the Sheriff's Office's Sex Crimes Unit at (386) 323-3574.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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