Seven men — including a school superintendent — all were caught looking for sex with teenagers, but their targets turned out to be undercover agents in a sting operation, according to the Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office in Texas. One of the other defendants possessed 60 pairs of used girls underwear, authorities said.
“You must make it a priority to know what your children are doing online,” Constable Alan Rosen said in a statement released Thursday. “As you can see by this sting operation, there are dangerous predators out there grooming our children and can cause great harm.”
He started a video statement with the case of Michael Keith Stevens, 47, the superintendent of the Itasca Independent School District in Hill County, Texas. Rosen described him as a longtime educator who was around children his entire work life: a former coach, principal, and assistant principal in various districts around the state.
Authorities claim Stevens communicated through social media with someone he believed to be a 15-year-old girl.
“He sent [lewd] photos of himself to an undercover investigator,” they wrote.
He sent pictures of his private parts and asked for nude videos and pictures in return, Rosen said. Some of the defendant’s “disturbing photos” appear to have been taken in his office, the constable said. Stevens allegedly told the agent he was at work. He planned to go to Houston and sexually abuse the girl, authorities said.
“On June 1, 2023, the District was contacted by a detective with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department,” the Itasca ISD said in a statement published Thursday. “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.”
The case against Stevens and six other men stemmed from a sting operation involving more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, who officers posed online as teenagers aged 13, 14, or 15. Rosen often described the remaining defendants as possessing condoms upon arrest.
- Kevin Barahona, 27. This FedEx employee chatted with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old, Rosen said. He allegedly arrived at the undercover location with a pack of condoms.
- Arturo Gonzalez, 23. He sought relations with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old, Rosen said. He allegedly tried to flee in his car when he saw police.
- Aaron Gutierrez, age unprovided. This coffee shop dishwasher and cook arrived with condoms for relations with a 16-year-old, the constable said.
- Anthony Randall-Jacob, 26. He brought condoms when seeking relations with someone he believed to be a 15-year-old, Rosen said.
- Luis Hernandez Cepeda. He allegedly had condoms in his pocket when seeking relations with a 14-year-old girl.
- Robert Fabela, 41, was arrested for online solicitation of a minor. He had 60 pairs of used girls underwear in his backpack, Rosen said. Fabela travelled from Waco, Texas, he said. The constable’s office is in contact with Waco police and McLennan County deputies to determine if Fabela is responsible for any open cases.
Note: We fixed a misspelling and adjusted the lead.
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