By Tom Mustin
DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver teacher is one of 10 men arrested last week in a child predator sex sting.
David Joseph Hocker, 35, worked as a substitute teacher at the Warren Village Learning Center. He’s now facing several charges including soliciting of a child for prostitution, and attempted sexual assault on a child.
“I was shocked, surprised, I had no clue,” parent Latasha Johnson told CBS4’s Tom Mustin. “I saw him around but I didn’t have any idea.”
Hocker and nine others were arrested last week in a child predator sex sting in Adams County. Adams County authorities and federal agents all took part in the two-day sting.
Hocker allegedly answered an ad set up by the Colorado State Patrol to have sex with an 11 and a 14-year-old girl. Authorities say he paid $300 to an undercover trooper and was arrested immediately.
“No complaints whatsoever. Parents, teachers, supervisors all thought he was doing a great job,” said Sharon Knight, Warren Village President and CEO.
PHOTO GALLERY: 10 Child Predator Suspects Arrested
The program helps low-income families become self-sufficient. The learning center where Hocker worked has 106 children.
“He was working with children 5-8 years old and seemed to be doing a really great job,” said Knight. “Very shocking to hear this news.”
Knight says because many of the children and families at Warren Village are at risk, all employees are heavily screened. Hocker was hired through a third party agency then rescreened. CBS4 found Hocker had a misdemeanor arrest in 2001, but no other criminal issues.
Knight says Hocker had only been employed eight days and was never alone with the children without another teacher present. Right now there is no evidence any of the students at Warren Village were targeted.
But with Hocker now facing several years behind bars, the questions are just beginning.
“There were no red flags in this at all. He was appropriate here. I really can’t speak to his behavior outside of here,” said Knight.
Hocker is being held on a $100,000 bond. He and the others face four to 16 years in jail.