A jury convicted Steven Hodge, 32, of sexually battering a child, after deliberating less than three hours. Hodge will serve 12 years in prison and is designated a sexual offender.
In February 2018, Hodge befriended the child victim, who had run away from a youth shelter in Ocala and made her way to Eustis. Hodge took the victim to a residence where other adult men and illegal drugs were present. While there, the victim was raped by several men, including Hodge.
Hodge was convicted at trial of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16 years old and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He will serve 12 years in prison followed by three years sex offender probation. Hodge is designated a sexual offender.
Assistant State Attorneys Shannon Schlarf and Kati Cosden prosecuted the case.