Arrested within days of each other, two teachers face allegations of sexual misconduct with students in unrelated cases in the same Texas town.
On Sunday, Eagle Lake police arrested Clifford Hooks, now a former Louise Elementary School physical education teacher. He stands accused of having sexual contact with a child, according to KPRC. Officers formally charged him with indecency with a child.
The Wharton County District Attorney’s Office said Hooks, who also coached boys’ sports, purportedly had sexual contact with a child in the school’s gymnasium and bathroom. Apparently, the child told officials about the alleged incidents earlier this year. In February, the Louise Independent School District placed Hooks on administrative leave once authorities launched an investigation.
On Friday, the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office and Eagle Lake police arrested Thomas Clay Hosman, a Louise Junior High School teacher, in his classroom on two counts of invasive visual recording, KAVU reported.
Hosman, 45, purportedly, hid a camera in the girl’s locker room where he secretly filmed underage girls undressing. Online, the alleged videos posted by Hosman got noticed by the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and they notified the Eagle Lake Police Department.
Hosman, a social studies teacher, also coached girl’s track, volleyball, and cross country, making the situation all the more disturbing. Investigators confirmed that two girls were recorded by the surreptitious locker room camera while changing their clothes, but it is unknown if more underage girls were filmed without their knowledge.
“He didn’t seem surprised when he was told what the charge was,” noted Eagle Lake Police Chief David Freeman, who added that authorities retrieved the hidden camera from the locker room, but did not divulge how Hosman camouflaged the recording device.
Louise ISD Superintendent Garth Oliver said the district administrators spoke directly to the parents of the two students purportedly filmed and informed them of the accusations against Hosman. Apparently, school officials did not speak to the girls directly, according to KTRK.
“We feel the right to privacy is between a parent and their child,” said Oliver, who suspected Hosman may have hidden the camera in the locker room in early March. He said there is a high probability that more girls were recorded unknowingly.
Wharton County Sheriff Shannon Srubar concurred, noting it is quite possible other girls were filmed during the time period as well. He said: “Anyone who has information about this needs to contact the Sheriff’s Office and Eagle Lake police.”
The school district superintendent issued a statement advising the parents of the purported victims were contacted by Louise ISD administrators, KPRC also reported. Oliver stated: “Louise ISD is fully cooperating with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation.”
Louise ISD said they suspended Hosman pending termination.
The Wharton County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation. Eagle Lake police said the next step in the probe involves a forensic examination of all Hosman’s digital media and devices, according to KAVU.
Both of these situations involving teacher sexual misconduct allegations rocked the tiny town of Louise, a place that roughly 1,000 people call home. Tierra Wright-Kemper, the mother of a student in the junior high, voiced a harsh reality many parents feel today: “You can’t trust anybody with your kids nowadays, it seems like,” she told KPRC.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.