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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Former High School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Former High School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Attempted Enticement of a Minor Following HSI San Diego, Task Force Investigation

Release Date: June 18, 2024

SAN DIEGO — A former high school science teacher at University City High School pleaded guilty to attempted enticement of a minor in federal court June 13, admitting that when he was still a teacher, he sought commercial sex with a 16-year-old girl. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force are investigating the case.

Sean Stevenson, 58, of San Diego, was arrested in October 2023 when he arrived for what he thought would be a sexual rendezvous with the underage girl. At the time he was unaware that he was communicating online with an undercover agent.

“Mr. Stevenson was a trusted member of the community who preyed upon our most vulnerable youth,” said HSI San Diego acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Davis. “HSI is fully committed to working with our law enforcement partners to rescue victims and aggressively investigate allegations of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. We encourage anyone who has information related to human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children to report it to law enforcement immediately.”

Stevenson’s alleged illicit activity was discovered during another sex trafficking investigation. According to his plea agreement, Stevenson used a voice-over-internet protocol line to negotiate by text message for commercial sex with a woman who identified herself as “Kash.” Stevenson offered Kash a fee to find a female under the age of 18 for him. In pertinent part, Stevenson made the following statements to Kash via text: “I don’t suppose you know in[sic] younger girls I could pay u a premium for?”; “I pay u a finders fee and I pay her”; “The younger the better”; and “Just keep it in mind if you come across any high school age girls.” When Kash suggested an 18-year-old girl, Stevenson replied: “Not young enough.”

When Kash was arrested as part of the sex trafficking investigation, an undercover officer continued the online conversation with Stevenson. Believing he was still speaking with Kash, when the undercover officer offered a 16-year-old cousin for commercial sex with Stevenson, he replied: “Oh ... yes!” Stevenson continued to exchange messages with the undercover officer, negotiating $150 for a “bbbj” (oral copulation without a condom); $100 for manual genital stimulation; a “car date” (a commercial sex encounter that occurs inside a vehicle). The exchange continued, with Stevenson stating, “Ok. Well I’m interested in her for sure!” He asked for a “sexy pic,” negotiated a $140 fee and arranged to meet up.

On Oct. 24, 2023, at approximately 7 a.m., Stevenson arrived at the prearranged meet up location. He drove to a parking lot where he had a full unobstructed view of the meeting location. He then drove laps around a nearby apartment complex where he expected to meet the 16-year-old. Stevenson was stopped by law enforcement officials and placed under arrest. During the arrest, $140 was located in the driver’s side door storage area of Stevenson’s Mazda Miata.

“Instead of a protector, this teacher became a predator,” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath. “These despicable acts betray the trust of students, parents and the entire community. Yet through swift justice in this case we have continued to protect children from being exploited, trafficked and abused.”

Stevenson is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 5, at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek Ko and Andrew Sherwood.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 and the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child exploitation through its toll-free tip line at 877-4-HSI-TIP or through the CyberTipline on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's website. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, ICAC partners, and other federal, state and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. You can report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline. The directorate is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and nongovernment partnerships to identify and rescue child victims; identify and apprehend offenders; prevent transnational child sexual abuse; and help make the internet a safer place for children.

Last Updated: 06/21/2024
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