N. Texas superintendent among 7 suspects arrested in online soliciting bust, Pct. 1 says

Briana Conner Image
Friday, June 2, 2023
Texas superintendent among suspects in online soliciting bust: Pct. 1
Authorities said the superintendent was talking with an undercover officer, who he thought was a 15-year-old girl from Houston, and allegedly made plans to drive to meet her.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A north Texas school district superintendent was among the suspects arrested for online soliciting of a minor, according to Harris County Constable Precinct 1's Office.

On Thursday, Constable Alan Rosen's office shared a video on social media of the arrests made in an operational sting.

Michael Stevens, 47, is the superintendent at Itasca ISD, which is just south of Fort Worth. According to Rosen, Stevens had allegedly begun communicating with an undercover officer, who he believed was a 15-year-old girl in Houston.

Stevens allegedly sent explicit photos and asked for nude videos and images in return, according to Rosen. It's also alleged that some of the photos sent were taken in Stevens' office.

In his conversation, Stevens had reportedly planned a trip to Houston to engage in sexual acts with the 15-year-old.

According to Rosen, Stevens is a former coach, principal, and assistant principal in various districts around the state of Texas.

Following the news of the arrest, Itasca ISD shared the following statement on its website:

On June 1, 2023, the District was contacted by a detective with the Harris County Sherriff's Department. According to the detective, Superintendent Michael Stevens was taken into custody. Until more facts are confirmed, no further information can be shared. The Board of Trustees will be convening a meeting to review this matter and take appropriate action.

"You must make it a priority to know what your children are doing online," Rosen said. "As you can see by this sting operation, there are dangerous predators out there grooming our children and can cause great harm."


In addition to Stevens' arrest, Precinct 1 detained six more men who are charged with online solicitation of a minor.

Kevin Barahona allegedly had condoms when he went to meet up with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Investigators said Aaron Gutierrez believed he was meeting a 16-year-old girl and also had condoms.

Arturo Gonzalez allegedly went to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex. Then, investigators said he tried to speed off when he spotted law enforcement instead.

Anthony Randall-Jacob had condoms when he allegedly tried meeting with a 15-year-old girl.

Investigators said Luis Hernandez Cepeda also brought condoms to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Robert Fabela 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 was headed to Harris County on Thursday to face the charge against him. The rest of the suspects are out on bond.

Constable Rosen encourages parents to stay on top of what kids are doing online and asks anyone with information about more crimes connected to the seven suspects to call the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit: 713-755-7571.

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