Need more proof that colleges can’t investigate sex abuse?

A little backwater college in Michigan will give you all the proof you need.

You would think that in the middle of a national scandal surrounding sexual assaults on campus that colleges would take the time to remove faculty members who are convicted or admitted child sex offenders.

But not Michigan’s Adrian College. Little do the parents of Adrian students know that their $40,000 annual tuition includes the salary of an admitted child molester.

Adrian: Where $40K/year gets you one-on-one time with an admitted child sex offender.
Adrian: Where $40K/year gets you one-on-one time with an admitted child sex offender.

In 2003, music professor Thomas Hodgman was sued in California for child sex abuse. At the time of the alleged abuse, Hodgman was a high school teacher in Southern California. When one of his victims alerted Adrian officials of her lawsuit, the school conducted an “investigation.” Hodgman denied the allegations, calling them “bogus.” The victim was never interviewed. Then, the victim went a step further and met with then-College President Stanley Caine, imploring him to at least remove Hodgman until the case was resolved.

He said no.

In 2005, the sex abuse case against Hodgman settled for $1.6 million. Documents released as a part of the settlement showed that Hodgman admitted to sexually molesting a number of his high school students, including the victim who sued him.

The victim took the documents to Adrian College. The school decided to let Hodgman keep his job.

Fast forward nine years. The victim in the case, despite what Adrian College officials did to her, has gone on to have an award-winning career as an advocate for child victims of sexual abuse. But she has never been able to get Hodgman removed from his job.

This week, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is writing the US Department of Education. They believe that Adrian—by keeping Hodgman on the job and not alerting parents and students—may be in violation of the Clery Act and Title IX.

I hope the U.S. Department of Education takes a long, hard look at Adrian College. I hope that a lot of people rightfully lose their jobs. I hope that Adrian loses access to federal financial aid.

Why? Because I am the victim who has been working for ten years for justice. I can’t put this particular fight aside any longer – for myself, for the other girls Hodgman admitted molesting and for the girls who are put at risk every day.


Read about Joelle’s recent honors by SHARE! and the City of Los Angeles here.


96 thoughts on “Need more proof that colleges can’t investigate sex abuse?

  1. what could i do if a college staff ever committed a crime of sexual misconduct? it most likely would never happen to me but it is good to have a plan in place. here is michigan’s law against sex crimes from first degree criminal sexual conduct to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

    1st degree criminal sexual conduct (
    2nd degree criminal sexual conduct (
    3rd degree criminal sexual conduct (
    4th degree criminal sexual conduct (

    1. call the police
    2. let the police process me for DNA samples and other forensic testing
    3. the police gather evidence and get the prosecutor to try the person for the crime
    4. the person is found guilty of criminal sexual conduct of some form.

    the police will be notified before adrian college in my case if a staff ever dares try this act of immorality on me.

  2. As a parent of a college student I certainly would want to know if anyone teaching there was a known predator. If the college administration protected the teacher who abused her as a child. Ignored the evidence that he in fact molested minor girls. Well then I believe she not only has the right to blast the college administration but I for one am glad she has chosen to speak out. It just may bring about the much needed impetus for that institution to change. I commend Joelle and her actions and I too say shame on the Administration of this institution. I see no where in here post where she attacked the students or other professors who I am sure are doing a fine job educating, but if the administrators of this school REFUSE to address a known predator, then who else might they be protecting?

    I can understand to some degree the students defending their institution, but I truly think their efforts would be better spent demanding accountability and answers from the school officials that allowed this man to remain teaching. It is that action that has allowed the school to be dragged into this fray. It sounds as if they did not treat Joelle very well either after her disclosure, so one should not blame her. You reap what you sow, and so the school will reap the fruit of it’s failures to act.

  3. Yikes. 1.6 mill? If there was a non-disclosure, aren’t you required to pay the settlement back? That’s insane.
    Also, aren’t you a tiny bit worried the school could sue for defamation?

  4. Never, ever, ever confuse the act of seeking revenge with the act of protecting the innocent. If you believe they are the same, you’ve already lost.

    There are real problems beyond your whale, Ahab, and I suggest you invest these hours in fighting those fights.

    My sincerest hope is that your choice to blog about this has violated some nondisclosure agreement and that you and your network get shut down.

  5. I don’t understand it very well some people are angry than a professor
    They like is a proved sex offender and the way it badly reflects on their
    Institution what do they do to restore the college reputation? Personally
    Attack and insult the victim! because whether some people like it or not
    Joelle was a victim sex between a 26 yo teacher and a 16 year old
    Student is not commiting a mistake is commiting a crime if he wanted a quiet
    Life he shouldn’t have sexually abused an underage pupil if u believe that personal, nasty,
    Cruel attacks is the way to restore the name of your college you still don’t
    Understand that this is bullying behaviour. people not only quickly recognise bullies but they
    Don’t usually like them very much. moreover it’s going to backfire because when victims speak they have
    Already been through hell and back. I don’t personally know your college the only thing
    I know is that bullies aren’t usually the best adverstisement for an institution the more you show
    Your hostility the more you damage your institution. Think about the catholic church do u think
    It has worked for them? U can defend rehabilitation of criminals without insulting crime victims I’ve been quite upset by some people’s comments but I have tried to base my discussion in arguments and not insulting anybody it’s not that difficult guys! It’s called being a grown up 🙂

  6. I need to weigh in on a few things here:

    1) I have posted all comments submitted on this post. None have been edited, altered or deleted. And note – this blog is mine. It is not a public forum and I am under no obligation to post any comments. Normally, I don’t allow name-calling, etc. But I felt that showing the particular vitriol in various comments would be eye-opening to many.

    2) I feel no need to defend myself in anonymous posts or engage in arguments with commenters. This is the only comment I have made and I am doing it openly and transparently, as I have chosen to live my entire life. I have never hidden my name nor identity – even in my court case. I also have no need to defend my record. I won my case, won the documents that showed that Hodgman abused me and other girls, received a settlement and an apology for what Hodgman did to me from the Catholic Bishop of Orange, and have devoted my VOLUNTEER career to helping other victims. Shockingly enough to some here, I actually have supporters.

    3) Yes, I read The Crucible. But demanding action in regards to the man who admitted that he abused at least two girls is hardly a witch hunt. I believe that’s called accountability. The term “witch hunt” refers to the undeserved persecution of innocent people.

    1. For a 26 year old teacher to have sex with a high school student isn’t a mistake: it’s a CRIME. The time that it takes a victim to come to terms with their abuse, coupled with unreasonably short statutes of limitations often makes it impossible to convict a perpetrator. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the act is a CRIME.

      Joelle’s right, she doesn’t need to defend herself. She’s done nothing more than speak up in the hopes of sparing another child (or even a vulnerable young adult) the pain that she endured. Keep on fighting the good fight, Joelle!

  7. “The Salem tragedy… …developed from a paradox. It is a paradox in whose grip we still live, and there is no prospect yet that we will discover its resolution.

    Simply, it was this: for good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies.

    It was forged for a necessary purpose and accomplished that purpose. But all organization is and must be grounded on the idea of exclusion and prohibition, just as two objects cannot occupy the same space.
    Evidently the time came in New England when the repressions of order were heavier than seemed warranted by the dangers against which the order was organized.

    The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom.

    When one rises above the individual villainy displayed, one can only pity them all, just as we shall be pitied someday. It is still impossible for man to organize his social life without repressions, and the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom.”


    It is my hope that you recognize the words of Arthur Miller. The play that I’ve sited is called the Crucible. I also hope that it is understood that the Crucible has very little to do with actual witch hunts. Rather, it is a work constructed to underscore the irrational fears associated with McCarthyism–The warrent-less accusations, weak in evidence, born of fear, and fueled by opportunity and ambition.

    Before I go on, I want to talk about the utility brought to my life and the lives of others by Dr. Thomas Hodgman. Unlike Joelle, who seems to think her award and “accomplishments” grant her some kind of authority to continue her argument, I understand that this is not a logical point of evidence in an argument. However, Abigail–I mean Joelle, I want you to understand the person (and the people) that you have in your crosshairs.

    In 2008, Beijing hosted the Olympics. Like every Olympic ceremony, there was a grand show to be had. Dr. Hodgman championed the challenge of making Adrian College choir a part of the host of performers. There were 100 students in that choir.

    In 2010, Dr. Hodgman did it, again. I was a member of this group. 50 or so students joined me in performing at the great Carnegie Hall under the baton of John Rutter. I’m uncertain that you understand the gravity of this. John Rutter is one of the single greatest British composers in the canon.

    This past spring, Dr. Hodgman took the choir to New York, again. This time, it was to perform with Eric Whitacre at the Lincoln Center. I trust that you understand that he is among the most prolific and widely known living composers.

    If you had your way, none of this good could have happened. He’s done so much more as a friend and as a mentor than I have time to leave here. He’s done so much more good than you could fathom.

    Dr. Hodgman was not convicted of anything, was forthcoming to his employer, and the documents provided on your website assure us that he’s solved his problems decades ago. Further, I have close relationships with many women who work and have worked in close quarters with Dr. Hodgman that would vouch for his character.

    Now I feel like being more direct: Joelle, I believe that you’re a sad, wretched human being. I believe you’re an opportunist. I believe that you and potentially, your associates, are sensationalists that are bent on capitalizing on the misfortune of others. The existence of your book, the pattern that which you post and your “day job” header-comment suggest to me that this is true.

    I want you to understand that when I see you declare John Proctor a witch, I know why you’re doing it.

    Timothy Martuch

    1. Timothy,

      I am glad your experience with Hodgman was different than Joelle’s and the several other high school students whom Hodgman sexually assaulted. I appreciate your reference to literature too. However, let’s just focus on the facts:

      1. Thomas Hodgman ADMITTED in 1989 to having sex with his high school students.
      2. He was never brought to a criminal trial because the statute of limtiations had tolled.
      3. His former employer paid 1.6 million dollars to at least one of his victims. How is that nuisance settlement?
      4. Joelle has won plenty of awards as a child advocate but none of that matters here. Even if we accept your contentions that she is a “sad, wretched, human being” — does it change the facts?
      5. Have you ever even once, asked Hodgman why he felt compelled to sleep with young high school girls who were entrusted with his care?

      I am glad your experience with Adrian College and Hodgman was different. But neither your experience nor the crimes Joelle and others endured at the hands of a child predator who lives a dual life as your professor changes the facts — Thomas Hodgman is an admitted child predator. If you don’t believe Joelle, ask Hodgman yourself — he signed multiple statments admitting to the same.

    2. Attention Parents of potential Adrian College Students – This is the kind of inversion of morality that your $40,000 annual tuition will serve. Your hard earned dollars will go towards helping your son or daughter learn how to defend ADMITTED child sex offenders. Your tuition will go toward learning how to characterize an ADMITTED child sex offender as a victim. Your hard earned dollars will go toward learning how to attack someone who as a minor child had a trusted teacher sexually exploit them, admit that exploitation, and then play the victim. I wouldn’t pay a dime to a school whose students can’t stand on the correct side of right versus wrong.

      1. “If she is innocent! Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers? I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem – vengeance is walking Salem.”

  8. I am a 2007 graduate of Adrian. I believe they are telling the truth. I was involved in what they called a “prank gone wrong” and have suffered since. My health has gotten worse over time and will never be able to get a career in one of my fields of study. They promised justice and assistance with medical bills, the new president let that man go while I was still in the hospital. I have written statements, signed, stating the assistance I was supposed to receive. I also almost lost my life. I will never be the same, all caused from a member of their prestigious basketball team who was never prosecuted. I will never underestimate what they will do to protect their school from bad publicity. I was let down by the school and by the local police officer (Adrian Alum). I tried to pursue this for a year and a half, until I graduated. After that I gave up because I realized that if I didn’t move on from it then I would always feel like a victim, I still sometimes do. I am glad that they are getting awareness out for that particular crime. But I wonder how many other crimes were hidden there, I know of at least one.

    1. Dear Bump, I am so sorry for your pain and suffering. My email is out here, if you would like to talk. I am sorry you endured so much and very grateful for your courage to share this now. In doing so, you make it harder for these types of assaults to continue. Thank you for having the courage to speak up here.

  9. As mother of two recent college grads I am appalled at some of the comments here. I appreciate Joelle exposing this situation to the public eye. While Hodgman may have not been convicted of a crime he admitted his crime against high schoolers in the documents listed above. Many times someone who is guilty of a crime can’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has expired not because they didn’t commit the crime.

    Morally the college should have considered the safety and well being of the students and the rights of the parents to know that a possible sex offender could be teaching their sons and daughters when decided to keep Hodgman in his position at the college.

    I hope that the parents of students at Adrian and other colleges use this opportunity to talk to their children and young adults about sex abuse.

  10. I am not religious, but everyday I thank god that there are courageous fighters for justice like Joelle. She makes the world safer for myself, my daughters and my community.

  11. Thank you i like your post best my daughter is in that college right now, she is a strong young woman
    good man or not I will be talking to her tonight about this. The worst thing on this planet is people sure there are good ones but there are a lot of scrum and the damage they do should never be forgiven.

    1. Mat Pecek,

      What did Joelle lie about?

      Did Hodgman not impregnate her and give her an STD as a high school student who was entrusted in his care? Did he not molest other high school students while a teacher? Did he not sign multiple statements admitting to the same? What pray tell, are you thinking that she is lying about?

  12. This woman is not a “brave survivor.” She’s a coward hiding behind twisted words.

    Also, since this website has already proven that they 1) comment on their own posts, and 2) delete comments when theyre losing the battle, therefore tampering with the conversation, I don’t believe for a second that the comment from “Someone” is legitimately from an Adrian College alumni.

    1. Mat, I appreciate your critical eye. May I suggest two things:

      1. Call Mater Dei and ask them about the 1.6 million dollar settlement, look over the documents Hodgman signed admitting he slept with high school students who were kids entrusted to his care.
      2. Ask Hodgman this: if there was nothing to this, why did he fight the release of his own signed documents?

    2. I don’t believe that the comment from Mat Pecek is legitimate and he is a liar. So there – we are at a cross roads.

      One more reason Adrian should teach basic logic. You guys sure don’t seem capable of it.

      1. You have a lot of nerve, presenting “appeals to authority” and “ad hominem” arguments on the same occasion that you take part in smearing my school. Shame on you. David, for a director, you don’t represent your firm well.

        1. Is your school being smeared or just those in leadership who have provided an admitted child rapist cover?

    3. I actually am an Adrian College alum. My reason for choosing to remain anonymous in my posts was because there are many people I know that are also commenting on this blog entry. I did not want this conversation to become a mindless bantering between former classmates. I felt that if I were to expose my identity, there are certain individuals that may turn toward petty personal insults instead of focusing on the issue at hand. My reason for posting was to let Joelle know that there are some people within the AC community that support her. I understand the natural inclination to stand behind someone that you trust and has been a positive influence on your life. However, I know from my work and from personal experience that perpetrators generally are thought to be “good guys.” That is how they earn the trust of their victims so that they can get close to them. That is also how they ensure that they will be believed, if the crimes they have committed are ever to be reported. Everyone keeps saying “Shame on you” to Joelle, or telling her that she should be ashamed. That is pretty ludicrous logic to me. Is there no shame in verbally attacking and bullying someone that you’ve never met because they were strong enough to stand up against a predator? Is there no shame in a 26 year old man having sexual relations with a teenaged student. In the midst of all of the disagreement on this page, most people are in agreement of one thing: Hodgman did admit to being sexually involved with at least one student. Newsflash: That is predatory behavior. There is no actual consensual sex that can take place between a 15 or 16 year old and their 26 year old teacher. In case you were unaware, sexual assault is about power and control; not about sexual attraction or gratification. There is a HUGE power imbalance between a teacher and his pupil, especially with a 10+ year age difference added into the equation. This makes the relationship abusive. I find it really upsetting that so many individuals that are attending or have attended the same institution from which I graduated cannot recognize the difference between right and wrong. It is absolutely appalling to read such malicious words being slung at a woman who has clearly been through so much, has fought for her own rights, and is advocating for change so that other individuals may not have to suffer in the way that she did. I understand that you’re proud of the school you went to. There’s nothing wrong with that. I didn’t hate my experience at Adrian, and there are a lot of things that I miss every day. In some ways, it was the best experience of my life. I even returned to live in Adrian for awhile after graduating. However, I’m not ignorant to the fact that Adrian College (not unlike many colleges nationwide) has not and does not always handle important issues appropriately. Joelle has a right to be angry with the administration. She turned to them, expecting support and concern for their students. Her expectations were far from met. She can say whatever she wants about the college because she’s entitled to her opinion. Just because you had a positive experience with Hodgman and maybe even Adrian College in general does not mean that her experiences are invalid.

      1. As an ’03 graduate of Adrian, I agree with you, Someone. I share pride in my Alma Mater, and credit much of who I am today to that time in my life.

        At the same time, I wish I knew then what I know now about sexual assault. I watched one girlfriend come forward about being raped by a fellow student and in return was harassed out of the college. I watched two more friends stay in the shadows, afraid of the persecution from the student body and the administration.

        The administration? Yes, the administration. We had a speaker (a mother of a girl who committed suicide after being bullied and harassed for naming her raper) and the Dean of Student Affairs was at the table behind me appalled. But not by what this young woman had gone through, but by the story the mother shared. She thought it was inappropriate for us to hear the raw details of the attack, and clearly doesn’t believe date rape is rape. So, no, sadly, it doesn’t surprise me that the school I love didn’t take these allegations, nor the evidence, seriously.

        1. Thanks for your support, “Class of 2003.” I’m very sorry to hear of your friends’ experiences. So many people like to believe that rape doesn’t happen on their campus, which just perpetuates the problem that victims are rarely believed when they do report. However, the truth is that 25% of college women will be raped or suffer attempted rape during their time in college…And those are only the reported numbers. It is estimated that about 80% of rapes go unreported. So, with that said, it does happen everywhere. We need to acknowledge this fact and stop trying to pretend that it’s not there. Instead, we should be supporting survivors when they come forward and work toward implementing stricter punishments for perpetrators.

  13. As a graduate of this college, all I cans say is one thing – SHAME ON YOU. The man in question (who, I never once interacted with in my 4.5 years at the school, but had plenty of friends who did) was NEVER convicted or placed on any sex offender registry. The school has no obligation to state that he had been accused and settled. No college (or school for that matter) would. Additionally, the youngest student on the campus would be 17 – legally a minor, yes, but far from a child.

    While I agree that he should have been placed on leave until the case was settled, posting this inflamitory story could *(and very well may) result in innocent people losing their jobs. Additionally, if you knew anything about Adrian (the community,not the school) you would know that the college is the lifeblood of that town. If the college fails, the town likely will too.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. Ally, I can appreciate your frustration but isn’t your anger a bit misdirected? Isn’t it true that Hodgman was not convicted of molesting multiple girls (including Joelle) because the statute of limitations had tolled? Isn’t it also true he admitted to this in 1989? Did you not see that? Maybe you didn’t know his former employer was forced to pay a 1.6 million dollar settlement for his assault and that’s just one settlement that we know about — I agree Adrian College is a major source of life in the town of Adrian. However, the college has a duty to warn its students under Title 9 and 2 as well as the Cleary act. Does it matter where the sexual assaults occurred or rather that they occurred? Why wouldn’t you want answers? The college doesn’t have to fail. It’s a choice. But they don’t have to cover for a child predator either. What good comes from that? And, 17 is a child — even though most 17 year olds feel grown. The shame rests squarely on the shoulders of President Jeff Docking -and former President Stanley Caine – shame on both of them for not protecting those who are entrusted to their care.

    2. Your reasoning is flawed. Hypothetically pretend that I know a murderer. He never murdered me. Because he never murdered ME, he must not be a murderer. He can’t be.
      You are trying to reason that bc he did not hurt one of your friends, he could not have done this to someone else. Apparently Adrian doesn’t offer a course in basic logic

      1. The Clery Act applies to Campuses being required to disclose information about crimes committed ON OR NEAR the campus itself. Nothing about the school being required to alert parents to staff/faculty member(s) who have never been convicted of any serious (or minor) offense.

        Title 9 relates to not being discriminated against (in sports, financial aid, or acceptance to the school) based on gender.

        Finally, Title 2 (at least the one pertaining to education) relates to obtaining and maintaining quality teachers who help their student do well in their fields of study. As stated previously, I have not had any personal interaction with Dr. Hodgman, but know many, many people who have. NONE of those people have anything but good things to say about the quality of his teaching.

        What one of those states Adrian is obligated to disclose any information about this mans past?

        1. You may want to go back and read all of the components of each one of those acts. Adrian College has a reasonable duty to not put its students or campus in harms way. Does it matter where the violence occurred or that it occurred and Adrian College has told no one?

          Why are you defending the indefensible? How about a compromise?

          Print on all Adrian College’s literature = we hire men who admitted child predators — that would clear it up wouldn’t it? Then parents and students could make an informed decision.

        2. A lot of people had nice things to say about Harold Jerry Mash!

          Apparently the front page of The Chicago Tribune revealed the real Harold Jerry Mash.

          Just in a 9 month period in 2014, over 360 teachers were either arrested, or removed from schools for alleged sexual abuse of children.

          Mash’s crimes were covered up for over 4 decades, yet someone was obtuse enough to tell us, “They’re not going to cover=up for a TEACHER”. It was said in such a condescending way to my husband and I, and it bothers my husband to this day. He was a victim of Mash in 1978.

          After we exposed Mash on Nov. 1st, 2012, A whistle blower came forward alleging Mash abused boys, and used child porn in his position of an Assistant Principal for Maywood Schools in Chicago in 2000-2001. Five years later, Mash got teacher of the year award!!

          Mash also abused boys through Big Brothers of NW Ohio, and the Boy Scouts. More victims have come forward in Chicago, but unfortunately this is being covered-up also, but those I’d least expect. Mashes victims in Ohio are old enough to be the Grandfathers of his current victims!

          Mash walks a free man today. Federal charges should have been placed against Mash long ago, when he was taking boys out of the state of Ohio, and into the states of Georgia and Florida for the purpose of sexually abusing them. He should have also had federal charges filed against him for using child porn, but that was covered up too.

          It appears that “they” did cover up Mash’s child molestation crimes against children. His victims ranged from age 7, to age 15.

      2. Dude. At point did her ideas follow that flow? Never did she even begin to suggest that the problem between Joelle and Dr. Hodgman didn’t exist, she’s questioning the grounds for the inflammatory story and whether or not it is reasonable for her to do so.

    3. You should be ashamed of yourself Ally. SHAME ON YOU. To take the side of an admitted sexual offender for the sake of preserving your alma mater’s town is despicable. It is also a testimony to the poor moral formation you’ve received at your religious education institution.

  14. It kills me to hear the abuse that this incredibly brave survivor is receiving here in these comments. The consequences for a survivor of sexual abuse can be lifelong. Healing is a continues process and although one may reach a point in life where they can be a happy and productive member of society it always effects us. This is something that will follow a survivor for life so to say that she got her money and that she should just get over it is absurd.

    It’s also absurd that there are so many people out there saying that they know him and that he is such a nice guy/good teacher so he couldn’t have done this. Let me tell you that anyone is capable of rape. 80% of rape victims know their rapist. Most of them even trusted the rapist and probably thought before the rape that he was a nice guy. So called “nice guys” can be rapists too.

    Shame on all of you for trying to make this woman feel bad for seeking justice. She deserves at least that. No amount of money can make a rape ok. I commend this woman for having the courage to speak out. I thank her for having the courage to fight to make others safe from this predator.

  15. There is a fine line between justice and revenage and you are so dangerously flirting with it and wasting your time. I empathize with the pain you must have endured at a young age and I encourage you to continue seeking counseling to continue to heal. Your allegations are false that any student is at risk being in the care of Hodgman. Having being a student of his and traveled to as apart of the choir that went to New York I have never known this man to be what you accuse him of. Adrian College has stood by Hodgman, what makes you think they are going to change their mind now? furthermore may I remind you, the students of Adrian College are ADULTS. We are above the age of 18 years old, not children. If you want to be a child sex molestation advocate I think that is great, but you are wasting your efforts on a 25 year old battle of revenge when there ARE others out there being raped and sexually abuse everyday. As Alex said as well, it is ridiculous to punish a whole college community because of one man. I can only hope that your misguided efforts can one day be used for good instead of continuously picking on a little “backwater” college as you so kindly put it.

    1. This is by no means about revenge or even justice…. THIS IS ABOUT PROTECTING KIDS… and even vulnerable adults.
      For those who are interested in learning more about child predators, how they work and do not stop abusing…. I suggest that you get educated.
      Here is one book that is amazing.. “Miss America by Day”… Also .. watch Marilyn Van Durber’s interviews… She will even answer your emails, if you chose to communicate with her, ok. Her web link is

      1. PROTECTING KIDS? At 18+ college students are not kids, and are fully capable of making their own decisions. I understand the concern for the safety of young women, but the fact is Hodgman has learned from his mistake. As a student of Dr. Hodgman’s, if I ever felt unsafe or uncomfortable around him I would surely report it to administration immediately. I still fail to see the argument in attacking a man who has worked at the same institution for 15 years without any problems or incidents. What he did was out of line, but he was 26 years old. He was young and foolish. He has a family now. He has a steady job. His life has finally turned around, and now you want to ruin it yet again. What kind of person does that make YOU? By stooping to this level you are no better than him. Telling people that they are uneducated only proves the level of immaturity that you have turned to. People make mistakes. Maybe not everyone changes, but some CAN learn from their mistakes. A truly decent human being would learn to forgive this man and pray that God forgives him for his sins. People deserve second chances.

        1. Great comment, Anonymous. There is a such thing as rehabilitation, especially after that period of time. As Jelle should have been in therapy, I’m sure Hodgman has seemed out his own therapy as well. We cannot stay in the victim mindset, it’s not a healthy place there. Also, clearly Hodgman has not let his past mistakes define him as a person, and I commend him for that. I went to AC, never interacted with him, but I do remember when this came to light. I don’t remember too many people flinching upon the news, and I remember his students supporting him.

        2. Anonymous, you have no idea what you would do in this situation…! apparently you were lucky… But you can not say that you would ” report it to administration immediately”.. or to the police
          Thank god that you were not sexually abuse as a child. but many have been….

          Child predators do not change and they can never be allowed to be near children… They are sick and the college officials know that..

          1. Don’t ever tell me what I do and do not know, because you don’t know me. Believe it or not, I WAS sexually abused as a younger child, but by a friend instead of a teacher. At the time, it took me weeks before I finally opened up about it, but as an adult and having learned from my lesson, I believe that I would be open about any situation regarding Dr. Hodgman. Look, the fact is people can and DO change. I chose to move on from my past with my friend, rather than seeking revenge. I encourage you all to try to do the same. I believe that God forgives sinners as long they pray for forgiveness, so shouldn’t we as human beings be able to do the same?

    2. Kate,
      Predators are known for grooming vulnerable victims. Predators are known to be charming, charismatic and friendly–that is how they get access to children, minors and the vulnerable.
      His past behavior spoke to abuse of a young adolescent (14, 15 yr old?). That he is friendly and ‘safe’ with a strong, full grown adults is not proof of the innocence of his past abusive behavior with a child.

    3. I can appreciate your empathy towards the college — but the statistics are clear: child predators don’t stop. 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys will be sexually molested by the age of 18 by someone. Experts know these statistics are undereported.

      If the college stands behind Hodgman, then they should do so unapologetically and post what they know, and post a disclaimer so parents and students alike can make an informed decision. You can’t protect kids — or young adults — from what they don’t know.

      Consider the writings of Dr. Judith Herman who states “it’s easy to take the side of the perpetrator. It’s tempting, they ask nothing but forgetting and for the bystander to do nothing. They appeal to universal belief to not see, feel or speak evil. The victim by contrast, demands understanding, engagment and action.”

    4. What’s interesting Kate is that you’re quick to be dismissive of the allegations, as though the issue of power and control does not transcend from those who prey upon kids to those who exploit young, vulnerable college co-eds.

      It’s interesting that you’re quick to assume Joelle’s charge is an indictment on your college community rather than on the leadership (or their lack of) of Dr. Jeff Docking and former President Stanley Caine.

      It’s equally interesting that you’d use words like revenge in the same post as justice….

      But what is really compelling and speaks largely to the missing component of your college education is the fact that no where in your post do you assign any culpability to Thomas Hodgman nor those who provided him cover (President Jeff Docking and Stanley Caine). The question remains? Why?

      Why do all of those men get a free pass?

    1. Brina, point taken on backwater. But here’s where we disagree: the only people being a “dick” about it (your words) is your College President Jeff Docking and former President Stanley Caine when they decided it was okay to cover for a professor who admitted that he had sex with multiple high school students to whom his care was entrusted.

  16. To all the comments from those who were lucky enough to not be sexually abused by Thomas Hodgman and who think that he is a great guy, here is something to keep in mind.-
    And yes, It is only common sense that the officials at Michigan’s Adrian College should protect their students rather than protect an admitted child predator.. Wouldn’t you think?

    Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and
    sometimes even their family members. They also appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse

    Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance
    would somehow set off alarm bells and give us the willies or the creeps. They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of
    sexually violating others. While they are grooming the child and even family members, they devote lots of time and energy building trust with them by giving them money and gifts. They tend to make the child feel that they are special and loved.

    It takes a ton of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever. It is never too late to speak up about being sexually abused, so let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Thomas Hodgman, will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement no matter how long ago it happened.

    Silence is not and options anymore. It only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others. That is exactly what Joelle did, she is to be commended for her courage.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511,
    SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, teachers, Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

    1. Judy, all I hear in your comment is “child predators”…well I guess it’s a good thing Hodgman is working at a COLLEGE with adults. No more story here. You have great information and education I’m sure, I would suggest sharing it where it is more relevant.

      1. Child predators or vulnerable 18+ year old’s… it creates a life long trauma that needs to get stopped.. It is all about abuse of POWER,,,

  17. Well, since you are getting a lot of flack from current and former Adrian College students, I (also a former Adrian student) feel compelled to also speak out. I commend you for sharing your story and doing the work you do to help others. From reading all of the comments to this post, I have noticed that a common defense on behalf of this professor is that he was never actually convicted of a crime. His lack of conviction has opened the door for many individuals to label you negatively and for him to maintain a favorable reputation. What I think people are failing to realize is that only 3% of rapists ever spend a single day in jail. However, it is reported that only between 2 and 8% of rape accusations are false. Given the burden of proof placed upon victims within the U.S. criminal justice system, sexual violence is very hard to prove and the criminal justice process is usually very difficult and exhausting for victims. I do not believe that too many people would go through this process for the sake of a lie. I think it is very hard for people to believe that someone they know may have committed a heinous crime, such as sexual abuse. As humans, we like to believe that these types of crimes do not happen within our communities or with people that we know and trust. The unfortunate reality is that rape and other forms of sexual abuse are a lot more common than we like to think, yet we are still always so quick to say that a victim is lying. I do not know you, so I have not seen all of the steps of your journey. However, I cannot imagine that it has been easy for you, and clearly you have put up with a lot of negative feedback. I’m just writing to say that I’m sorry to hear what has happened to you, and I wish we lived in a society that was more concerned with the well being of crime victims than the lives of offenders being ruined. Best wishes.

  18. You are a horrible woman and should truly be ashamed of yourself. You’ve made a career out of being a “victim” of a crime that you refuse to present genuine evidence or proof of all while making Dr. Hodgman and his family the real victims. Tom Hodgman is a wonderful man and an inspired educator who has enriched the lives of hundreds of students. You on the other hand are a bandwagon bully who has decided to take advantage of media sensationalism to vehemently slander the name of a man by trumping up charges, misrepresenting evidence refusing to respect court decisions when time after time rulings have been in favor of the defendant. I’m sorry that you feel you need to win this case to give your long and abusive career validity. Please leave Dr. Hodgman alone and find a better use for your time.
    Sincerely, Daniel Martin Morency

    1. Your words are very hurtful to the thousands of innocent children who have been sexually abused and who are being sexually abused… !!!

      Your sincerely signature was not at all sincere..! This is extremely sad..!

    2. Dan,

      Did you not see Hodgman’s signed statments? Did you not know his former employer had to shell out 1.6 million in a settlement to one of his victims — emphasis added — there are more than one. What charges did Joelle trump up? What court decision was in favor of the defendant?

    3. Daniel,

      If everything you wrote disparging about Joelle was true and we accept that as Gospel, please tell me how that changes what Thomas Hodgman admitted to? How does that change that as a high school teacher he was sexually gratified by having sex with children? Am I missing something? I’m sure Thomas Hodgman is wonderful notwithstanding the fact that he was sexually aroused by children and had no problem sexually exploting them for his own needs. If that makes Joelle a — what did you call her? A bandwagon bully, because she doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to another, then we should ALL be band wagon bullies — especially if it means we keep the likes of a Thomas Hodgman from EVER hurting another innocent child.

  19. Didn’t this case go to court like 15 years after it allegedly happened? I seem to remember all kinds of very well formulated evidence pointing towards Joelle being a bandwagon-ing, money-chasing liar the last time this trash was brought up. I also remember so many of Hodgman’s students jumping to his defense that this website blocked all comments to the article because people weren’t saying what you wanted it to say.
    I’ve reviewed your “evidence” a few times in the last few years now. Dr. Hodgman has admitted to dating a student in a consensual relationship that her parents agreed to, back in the very early days of his education career. Joelle likes to spin words to make her point seem more believable, but in reality she’s a malcontent hell-bent on ruining someone else’s life unfairly. THAT is why people always side with Tom Hodgman.

    1. Mat, what does it matter when it happened? Shouldn’t the issue be that Thomas Hodgman thought it was okay to sexually abuse his high school students?

      By the way – Joelle didn’t have to “chase” money. Hodgman’s former employer was so in the wrong on this case, they paid 1.6 million dollars on behalf of Hodgman.

      I don’t blame Hodgman’s students for jumping to his defense, why wouldn’t they? Most child predators are charming and gregarious and well liked. What I do fault is your adminstration for failing to share the facts with its campus community. Afterall, if there is really nothing to this, then why not be transparent? If Adrian College President Jeffery Docking really stands behind a child predator like Thomas Hodgman, they should do so in an open, honest manner — hiding it from no one.

      At the end of the day, Joelle is not trying to dissuade you from liking Thomas Hodgman. But I think if you’re going to side with a child predator, you ought to do so with your eyes wide open.

  20. I have known Dr. Hodgman for over 7 years…have been in alone in a room with him talked to him and have NEVER had any reason to believe this story that has been fabricated about him. You really need to get your facts straight before you start sharing information that is not true. I’m sorry that you are hurting, but you need to let this one go. He is a wonderful man and a real asset to Adrian College (which by the way is a WONDERFUL institution)!

    1. Predators are known for grooming vulnerable victims. Predators are known to be charming, charismatic and friendly–that is how they get access to children, minors and the vulnerable.
      His past behavior spoke to abuse of a young adolescent (14, 15 yr old?). That he was friendly and ‘safe’ with a strong, full grown adult is not proof of the innocence of his past abusive behavior with a child.

    2. Sheryl,

      I am so glad that your experience with Hodgman was different, but it doesn’t negate that he admitted to having sex with multiple high school students while he was their teacher.

  21. I went to Adrian college, I was even a music major for a little while. This means I had Dr. Hodgman as teacher and mentor. When I first started at Adrian other music students talked about this situation. Due to common curiosity students have looked at all sides of the story, I suggest you do the same. This has already been investigated and laid to rest. I think we can leave the man alone. He is a good man and does not deserve mudslinging.

    1. Really – laid to rest? What about the people who have been hurt. Would you say that to someone who’s childe was murdered by a drunk driver? Not hardly and yet you’ll say this to a victim of sexual abuse … probably because there are no visible scars but there are plenty of invisible scars. Also most perpetrators rarely stop at one victim. So rarely as to be almost non-existant.

    2. Katy,

      When was this investigated? Were any of Hodgman’s victims ever afforded the right to come to proffer an official record?

      How did they investigate?

      What mudslinging? Is it not a fact that Hodgman admits to having sex with his own students who were entrusted to his care when he taught them in high school?

  22. I see where you are going with this and I admire your quest to bring to light the corruption going on in colleges and universities. But I don’t admire your investigative skills. I am from Adrian College and I took choir class with Doctor Hodgeman all four years. He took the time one day to explain everything that happened without added flourish or bias. Did you personally talk to Hodgeman or try to hear the other side of this story? Please be careful not to turn into a muckraker in your continual search for truth.

    1. Rebecca,

      What is the other side? What could Hodgman possibly have said that Joelle and the other child victims of his didn’t know? They were there.

      Did he explain how he had sex with minors when he was there teacher?
      Did he explain how he impregnated one?
      Did he explain how he got an STD and passed it along to a high school student?

      How did he explain this that somehow made it plausible?

  23. I admire you for writing this because the college does need to be aware and the decision should be made to have the professor removed from the college. However, that being said I am also a victim of life long sexual abuse so I can understand your decision and harshness towards the college. The problem with such rash thinking is that the school losing its federal aid does not just get revenge for Adrian allowing Mr. Hodgmman to remain at his post,but it would jeopardize the education and financial pockets of all those who are enrolled. A change does need to be made but in order to make such a change the bigger picture must be looked at. Revenge is not the answer although it is justifiable because nobody else should be hurt in the process. As a student with a traumatizing past and no financial support, working two jobs to get by it is difficult enough as it is to pay the $40,000 an academic year. You have already shown the desire and commitment to helping others and trying to make changes but I urge you to use that voice to make changes in a way that do not make getting a higher education difficult for those who already have it hard enough as it is. The justice system can work and Adrian can be changed but it take those with the right angle and stand to make it happen. The point of all my rambles is coming from someone getting a masters in criminal justice think of all the consequences of such decisions/wish for Adrian College to lose federal funding. Thank you

    1. Courtnee,

      I am so sorry for what you’ve endured. I applaud your pursuit of a higher education and the ability to look at all sides.

      The responsibility for this lies squarely on the shoulders of Adrian College President Jeff Docking and former President, Stanley Caine for doing nothing. They are the ones who turn a blind eye to their own institution in allowing an admitted child predator to stay at the college. The question is why? Is it because Hodgman’s victims were girls?

      You’ve paid a tremendous amount of money to get a top notch education at Adrian — you should get it but you should also be on a campus that is free from child predators.

      1. I think the people on here slinging around the term “child predator” need to really tone it down and take a lesson on the differences between a person who has offended sexually, a child predator, and a human that made a poor choice on sexual impulse. Do you really think it’s realistic that any public place of education is really always free of people that fit in

        1. Either of those three categories? Sorry, my last comment was cut off. I just think we should be careful of the terms we are using when referring to someone who allegedly committed a sex crime that was obviously morally not the best decision and has since turned his life around in the past 25 years. Lay it to rest.

          1. It is extremely rare that a child molester can turn his life around…. As of right now, there is no cure…They need to be kept far away from children forever,,,,sadly, but true..

          2. Jen,

            I think the 1.6 million dollar settlment in conjunction with the signed confession by Thomas Hodgman that while he was a high school teacher he had sex with his high school students (which is clearly against the law), pretty much clears up the “alleged” part doesn’t it?

        2. Jen,

          The distinction between making a poor choice and what Thomas Hodgman did as a highschool teacher who was sexually gratified by having sex with his students is that the latter is criminal. Hodgman admitted it by the way in a signed confession. What Hodgman did was rape — it is a bad choice, sexually offensive and makes him a child predator (that and the fact that there were multiple victims).

  24. As a student, friend, and brother of Dr. Hodgman, I say that regardless of his past actions, he is a good man. And a great teacher to boot. As he was never convicted of a crime, and clearly the evidence of said lawsuit was clearly insufficient to bring forth criminal charges, the college is neither in the wrong nor liable. And if you look at cases of actual on campus incidents, you’ll find that they take direct and appropriate action. While I am sorry for whatever ills may have befallen you, or you perceive to have come from this man, he is a good man. And you need to leave him alone. Clearly, from the outcome of the lawsuit, he paid his dues. Let it go.

    1. Devan,

      I am so glad your experience is different with Hodgman, but that doesn’t do anything to protect kids. I appreciate your loyalty albeit a bit misguided. Here are the facts:
      The statute of limitations made it not possible to bring criminal charges.
      Hodgman admitted to having sex with high school students when he was there teacher.
      1.6 million dollars was paid by his former employer, not him. I’m curious – what dues did you think he paid?
      Are you aware of the recividism rates? Child predators don’t just spontanously stop. Do your own research. What happened to Joelle was avoidable — had her high school teacher, Thomas Hodgman acted like an adult and stood in the roll he signed on for as a teacher. Instead, he led a dual secret life as a child predator. She wasn’t the only victim.

  25. This needs to be put to rest! Please stop disrupting this mans life and the lives of the students at Adrian College. This is ridiculous. If the college felt it would be in the best interest of the students to fire Dr. Hodgman they would have done it already. I also encourage other students to keep the peace by not sharing this smut on social media.

    1. And the bishops would have removed offending priests. This script plays out again and again and again and it just amazes me that no one seems to learn from it.

    2. You are the perfect advocate for a sexual perpetrator. Despite his own admissions; despite a settlement; you believe HE needs to be protected? What kind of moral formation happens at your school?

  26. I understand the concern, but the Clery Act is sort of irrelevant. It requires that crime that occurs on or near campus be reported…this happened across the country in 2003. Although this is quite shocking, I actually took classes from Dr. Hodgman for several years while I attended the college. I have to say that he was a very effective professor, and there were never any reports of inappropriate behavior while I was there. Even if the past is inexcusable, should he be forced to give up having a career forever? He is working with adult students now, so the risk of a repeat offense is very low.

    1. Most perpetrators give the impression that they are wonderful people. That’s how they get away with it. That’s why the Catholic Church is in such trouble, they would not believe that this wonderful priest could be a perp … and yet here we are.

    1. Seriously! That’s the best ya got. If that is the caliber of people supporting the school, the whole thing should be shut down … and leveled.

  27. Your sitting here bashing an entire college based off of one mans actions?
    These are all allegations. You have the right as a victim to go after someone who has done you harm.
    However, you do not have right to speak against an entire college community.
    I am a student at Adrian college, I am fortunate to know most staff at the college and they are wonderful, loving people.
    To say that,”I hope a lot of people rightfully lose their jobs” is totally outrageous. Selfish.
    If anyone took half the time as i did to associate with staff they would understand why it is so hard to read such a degrading article on the Internet.
    I pay $40,000 a year and it is damn well worth every single penny I put into it.
    I’m sorry Joelle, but until you go to campus and interview every single student and voice their opinions you should have no further say on anything that has to do with Adrian college.
    Your situation is unfortunate.
    But do not put blame on others for one person. Then everyone becomes an innocent victim.

    1. Actually she has every right to speak against an entire college community. It’s called freedom of speech!

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