Baytown mother credited with a strategy to catch former Goose Creek CISD sub in solicitation case

Alex Bozarjian Image
Saturday, October 7, 2023
Mom hatched plan to catch teacher preying on daughter, prosecutor says
The Harris County District Attorney's Office credits a 15-year-old's mother for hatching a plan to catch a teacher accused of preying on the girl.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A former Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District substitute teacher could face prison time for allegedly sending nude photos to a 15-year-old student.

Their communication began in July 2022, according to court documents. Investigators said the mother and the victim actually developed a strategy to get the substitute teacher behind bars.

"He acknowledged that he knew her age," Dak Cohen, an assistant district attorney who works in the Harris County District Attorney's Office human trafficking and child exploitation division, said.

Joshua Hockless, 25, was sexually preying on the 15-year-old girl, court documents allege. Hockless was a substitute teacher at E.F. Green Junior School, where the victim attends.

"The substitute teacher at her school, whom she had some interactions with, had reached out to her on an Instagram account with an anonymous Instagram handle username. He then sent an unsolicited picture of his genitals and nude body to that minor," Cohen said.

Court documents add that the victim went straight to her mom. Together, they strategically decided to continue communicating with Hockless.

"With the mother guiding the daughter on what was going on, she was able to conclude who that defendant was by getting him to send some self-photos of his face and provide his last name," Cohen added.

During their back-and-forth communication, Hockless asked the victim for nude photos, according to the district attorney's office.

With her mother's permission, she sent a photo fully clothed to keep him engaged in the conversation.

"In this case, clearly the mother and daughter had a very good, warm relationship and communication because it was the daughter that brought it to the mom's attention," Cohen said.

Hockless is now facing a third-degree felony count of only solicitation of a minor for his alleged crimes. If he's found guilty, he could serve two to 10 years in prison.

The district attorney's office said this case highlights the importance of establishing trust with your kids and monitoring their internet use.

"Sometimes, these escalate into much worse scenarios, such as the victim being sexually assaulted, kidnapped, trafficked - you name it," Cohen said.