Harris County, Texas (KTRK) – The North Texas School District superintendent was among the suspects arrested for soliciting a minor online, according to the Harris County Constable 1 office.
On Thursday, Office Constable Alan Rosen posted video on social media of the arrests made in an operational sting.
Michael Stevens, 47, is the supervisor at Itasca ISD, which is just south of Fort Worth. According to Rosen, Stevens allegedly began communicating with an undercover officer, whom he believed to be a 15-year-old girl, in Houston.
Stevens allegedly sent explicit photos and asked for nude photos and videos in return, according to Rosen. It is also alleged that some of the photos sent were taken in Stevens’ office.
In his conversation, Stevens reportedly planned a trip to Houston to engage in sexual acts with the 15-year-old.
According to Rosen, Stephens is a former head coach, manager and assistant manager in various areas around the state of Texas.
After news of the arrest, Itasca ISD shared the following statement on their website:
On June 1, 2023, the area was contacted by an investigator with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. According to the investigator, Superintendent Michael Stevens was taken into custody. Until more facts are confirmed, no more information can be shared. The Board of Trustees will hold a meeting to review this matter and take appropriate action.
“You should make it a priority to know what your kids are doing online,” Rosen said. “As you can see by this stinging process, there are dangerous predators out there who are preying on our children and can do great harm.”
Other suspects arrested
In addition to Stevens’ arrest, the First Circuit has arrested six other men accused of soliciting a minor over the Internet.
Kevin Barahona was allegedly carrying condoms when he went to meet up with what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.
Investigators said Aaron Gutierrez believed he was meeting with a 16-year-old girl who also had condoms on him.
Arturo Gonzalez allegedly went to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex. Afterward, investigators said he tried to speed up when law enforcement spotted him instead.
Anthony Randall Jacob was holding a condom when he allegedly tried to meet a 15-year-old girl.
Investigators said Luis Hernandez Cepeda also brought condoms to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Robert Fabella is accused of driving to Houston from Waco to have sex with a minor, and investigators said he had 60 pairs of used girls’ underwear with him.
Stevens flew to Harris County on Thursday to face the charge. The rest of the suspects are out on bail.
Constable Rosen encourages parents to stay informed about what children do online and asks anyone with information about more crimes related to the seven suspects to contact the Internet Crime Against Children Unit: 713-755-7571.