Nicholas Hodges (Courtesy SFPD)

Former SF swim instructor sentenced to federal prison on child pornography charges

Prosecutors say Nicholas Hodges possessed thousands of images and videos

A former instructor at a San Francisco swim school was sentenced to five years in federal prison Thursday after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Federal prosecutors said Nicholas Hodges, a 30-year-old Oakland resident, discussed and exchanged child pornography with other people through a social media app and in private chats between August 2016 and March 2017.

Some of those individuals told Hodges that they were underage, according to a sentencing memo filed by federal prosecutors.

He was arrested at his workplace, Le Petite Baleen, in April 2017.

Investigators seized devices containing thousands of child pornography images and videos, some of them involving infants and toddlers, during a search of his San Francisco home.

Prosecutors said in 2017 that the well-publicized arrest had generated “hundreds” of phone calls from parents who worried their children had come into contact with Hodges at the popular swim school.

The school put out a statement at the time noting that Hodges had passed a background test, and had been terminated once the school learned of the charges.

Before Hodges began working at La Petite Baleen in 2015, he had worked with House of Air, an indoor trampoline park in the Presidio, and the Disney Store, according to federal prosecutors and information on his Facebook page.

While federal prosecutors said they had no evidence of criminal sexual contact with any minors, they noted that Hodges was terminated from the House of Air after a teenage boy alleged that he touched his bare chest and grabbed his arm.

Hodges was indicted in June 2017 on charges including receipt of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to all three charges this February.

He was ordered to surrender and begin his prison sentence on Aug. 24, 2019.

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