NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The 17-year-old accused in Tuesday's violent home invasion
and rape surrendered to police. Sources say Gregory Hodge turned himself in. Investigators say he forced his way into a Booker Street home, then
raped and robbed a 23-year-old woman inside at gunpoint.
The victim's boyfriend said he knows Gregory Hodge extremely well. He says
he previously mentored Hodge, and he believes Hodge sexually assaulted his
girlfriend in retaliation because he wouldn't give him money.
As police searched the Booker Street area for clues Tuesday, witnesses led them
to Hodge, a Pearl Cohn High School student with no criminal history.
On Tuesday, just hours after the crime, the boyfriend said he was frustrated
that reaching out to help Hodge and other neighborhood children led to this
incident. The non-profit, Harvest Hands, has helped disadvantaged youth for
five years, and neighborhood mentors are all over town. A South Nashville
couple understands the boyfriend's frustration.
Brian and Courtney Hicks choose to live in the same neighborhood of the
people they help. To them, the benefit outweighs the risk, but they say they
just have to be smart about it.
Courtney said, "We've had some of our students vandalize our building
and steal supplies from Harvest Hands."
"To ignore reality is kind of silly," explained Brain. "So for us, we
think it's best to be realistic about what's going on and approach it from a
perspective that says this is happening and this is what you have to do to be
smart about living in this community."
But his wife also adds, "A lot of the kids that we started with,
they've kind of been raised up through our programs."
The hope is now, people who are helping troubled youth, or thinking about it,
don't get discouraged or stop making a difference. Meanwhile, Hodge is behind
bars at a juvenile detention center. Along with aggravated rape and robbery, Hodge
could face additional charges.