Crime and Courts

University City High School teacher who tried to pay teen for sex pleads guilty

Sean Stevenson, 58, sought to pay $140 for sex acts with a person he believed was a 16-year-old girl.

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A former University City High School science teacher and cross-country coach arrested last year for trying to meet with a teenage girl for sex pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal count of attempted enticement of a minor.

Sean Stevenson, 58, sought to pay $140 for sex acts with a person he believed was a 16-year-old girl. However, Stevenson was arrested at a bus stop where he was met by an undercover agent who had been communicating with him for three weeks.

NBC 7's Priya Sridhar shares details of the allegations.

Stevenson was arrested Oct. 24 after he arrived at the pre-arranged meeting location with $140 in his car.

According to court documents, the investigation into Stevenson began with the arrests of a pimp and prostitute in April of 2023. After searching the prostitute's cell phone, investigators found text messages between her and a San Diego-area phone number prosecutors say belongs to Stevenson.

The user of the San Diego cell number offered the woman "a finder's fee payment ... if she could provide him with an underage prostitute," court documents state.

The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges Stevenson told the woman, "The younger the better" and "Just keep it in mind if you come across any high school age girls."

A University City high school science teacher and coach accused of trying to meet up with a teenage girl for sex, is set to be back in federal court Tuesday after facing a new charge.

An undercover officer later posed as the prostitute and in messages with Stevenson, offered her 16-year-old cousin for sex.

Stevenson's mother was at his arraignment. She was sobbing hysterically, and told NBC 7 she was devastated and that she hadn't spoken to her son since his arrest but wanted to be at the hearing so he would see her.

Stevenson is set for sentencing in September.

San Diego U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said in a statement, "Instead of a protector, this teacher became a predator. These despicable acts betray the trust of students, parents, and the entire community."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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