Sean Stevenson, 58, sought to pay $140 for sex acts with a person he believed was a 16-year-old girl but was actually an undercover police officer, prosecutors say

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, the person Stevenson had arranged the meeting with was actually an undercover police officer.

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 2023. After searching the prostitute’s cellphone, 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.”

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

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

Stevenson was put on leave after his arrest in October.

Staff writer Teri Figueroa contributed to this report.

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