Superintendent arrested in child sex sting suspended from role at north Texas school district

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Monday, June 5, 2023
Superintendent caught in child sex sting suspended from N. TX district
The now-former superintendent is accused of sending an undercover officer, who posed as a teen girl from Houston, explicit photos of himself while he was at work, among other disturbing allegations.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A north Texas superintendent who was busted for allegedly trying to meet up with a Houston teen for sex was suspended from his job on Monday.

Michael Stevens, 47, is charged with online solicitation of a minor. A judge set his bond at $100,000 last week and he remains in custody. He was scheduled to appear in court again on Monday, but he did not make it into the courtroom.

READ MORE: $100K bond set for N. Texas superintendent arrested by Pct. 1 in solicitation of a minor sting

The details revealed in court were explicit. The 47-year-old allegedly told the officer posing as a 15-year-old he would consider divorcing his wife so he could marry the girl's mother to have access to her.

The Itasca ISD school board held a special meeting on Monday morning in which they decided to take immediate action to suspend Stevens from his role.

Itasca, Texas is just south of Fort Worth.

The school board appointed veteran Superintendent Keith Boles to serve as the interim superintendent starting Tuesday, June 6.

In a statement on the district's website, the school board said it is confident that there are no connections between the allegations against Stevens and students at Itasca ISD.

The following is their full statement:

"The Board of Trustees met today to take immediate action to suspend Superintendent Michael Stevens from his role as Superintendent of Schools. The Board took this action in response to the arrest on Thursday, June 1st of Mr. Stevens. We are working diligently to resolve this situation in accordance with our legal counsel. The Board has appointed veteran Superintendent Keith Boles to serve as the Interim Superintendent starting tomorrow, June 6th. Mr. Boles previously served in the district in this capacity and is well known and respected by our community. Last and more importantly, the Board is confident that based on all facts known to date, there are no connections between the allegations made against Mr. Stevens and students at Itasca ISD. Our students are safe and will continue to thrive and succeed with the dedicated attention and service brought by our outstanding parents and staff."

ABC13 spoke to prosecutors about the alleged crimes outside the courtroom on Monday.

"We take this seriously because they're the most vulnerable people in society, right? And here we have a guy in a position of authority, a superintendent of a school, who's been accused of this. He has access to people of this age," James McKenney with the Harris County District Attorney's Office said.

Stevens is accused of sending explicit photos of himself while he was at work. He thought he was talking to a 15-year-old girl, but was actually talking to an undercover detective.

He was arrested last Thursday on the campus of Itasca High School.

The superintendent said he would consider divorcing his wife so he could marry the 15-year-old's mother to have access to the girl, prosecutors said.

If Stevens posts bond, he must submit to random drug testing, can't have any contact with anyone under 17 years old, and must install a software on his computer that monitors his activity.

The details revealed in court last week are explicit.

Investigators said the app Stevens used to communicate with the undercover persona is known to preserve user anonymity and allows users to register without a phone number or email address. The name of the app was not revealed.

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

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.

Contact reportedly began in April and lasted through late May.

During his communication with the undercover persona, Stevens allegedly sent explicit photos, asked for nude videos and images in return, asked inappropriate questions and described explicit scenarios.

According to the Harris County Constable Precinct 1 Office, which arrested Stevens and six other men charged with online solicitation of a minor as part of a sting, some of the communication between the superintendent and the undercover persona happened during regular school and business hours.

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

Stevens would allegedly ask the girl to leave her classroom and go to the bathroom to take inappropriate photos in the stall. It's also alleged that some of the explicit photos sent were taken in Stevens' office.

According to Pct. 1, Stevens was aware the girl was 15 years old and it came up in conversation multiple times. He even once allegedly said, "Am I too old for you? So, you're OK with my age? I'm probably too old for you. I'm 47 years old."

Stevens allegedly told the undercover persona he wanted to travel to Houston over the summer and get a hotel room so they could meet and engage in sexual acts.

During the course of the investigation, Stevens allegedly joined another app and started talking to another undercover officer posing as a 16-year-old girl.

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

"He doesn't have any children, but he's been around children his whole career. That's why we really provided mug shots and are really trying to get this story out so we can find out if there are any other victims," Rosen said.

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.