A file photo of San Diego Unified School District in San Diego on Dec. 30, 2021. (Tina Deng/The Epoch Times)
A San Diego high school science teacher was arrested during a sex trafficking investigation and charged in federal court with attempting to pay for sex with a minor, federal authorities reported Oct. 24.
Sean Stevenson, 58, was arrested Tuesday by the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and charged in federal court with attempting to entice a minor. He is expected to have his first hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin Oct. 26.
Mr. Stevenson, a teacher for 16 years at University City High School, is on leave following the arrest, San Diego Unified School District spokeswoman Maureen Magee told The Epoch Times. His name did not appear in the school’s online staff directory Thursday.
Federal authorities say they discovered the teacher’s alleged activity after reviewing messages from a past sex trafficking investigation.
Following the discovery, an undercover law enforcement officer began to text message Mr. Stevenson with the Pinger app, which allows users to send and receive free messages and make phone calls. The officer claimed to be sex trafficking her 16-year-old cousin, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
A criminal complaint claims that Mr. Stevenson messaged the undercover officer on Oct. 23 and negotiated a price of $140 for a sex act from the girl. He then agreed to meet the undercover officer the next day on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego for a date with the minor, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release on Oct. 24.
Mr. Stevenson arrived at the agreed-upon location at about 7 a.m. and was arrested, federal authorities reported.
Officers found $140 in his car, according to the complaint.
If convicted, Mr. Stevenson faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison.