Itasca ISD Superintendent Arrested for Sending Lewd Photos in Child Sex Sting
Michael Stevens, 47, was allegedly communicating with an undercover officer he believed was a 15-year-old girl.
ITASCA, Texas — A Texas superintendent was arrested Thursday for sending lewd photos to an officer posing as a teenager.
Michael Stevens, superintendent for Itasca Independent School District (ISD), was among seven men arrested in a Houston-area child sex sting, reports Fox 4. In a video statement, Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rose said more than a dozen local law enforcement agencies participated in the undercover operation where officers posed as teens aged 13-15 and communicated with the suspects online.
Rosen said the 47-year-old administrator was allegedly communicating with an undercover officer he believed was a 15-year-old girl from Houston. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the online conversations between Stevens and the undercover officer started in April and continued through late May.
“[Stevens] sent pictures of his private parts and asked for nude videos and images in return. He told the undercover investigator he was at work and some of his disturbing photos appear to be taken in his office. And during the conversation, he was planning a trip to Houston to engage in sex acts,” said Rosen. “Stevens has been around children his entire work life. He has been a coach, a principal, and an assistant principal in various towns across north Texas. He is married with no children.”
Stevens was named Itasca ISD’s superintendent in 2022. Starting in 2014, he was the principal of a school in Electra. From 2006 to 2014, he was a special education instructor and was then promoted to assistant principal at Vernon High School near Wichita Falls. Before that, starting in 2000, he spent five years as a physical education teacher at Mesquite ISD. Prior to that, he was a special education teacher and football coach in Palacios.
Rosen encouraged parents to monitor their children’s online activity.
“You must make it a priority to know what your children are doing online. You can see by this sting operation, there are dangerous predators out there grooming our children and can cause great harm,” he said. “The sheer number of predators, new technology, and new apps to keep up with, we must all work together. Predators like the ones we arrested in this sting should scare all of you.”
During a special meeting Monday morning, the Itasca school board voted to suspend Stevens and appointed Keith Boles to serve as interim superintendent starting June 6. Boles has previously served as interim superintendent for the district.
Stevens has been charged with online solicitation of a minor and his bond was set at $100,000. He made his first court appearance on June 2. As part of his release, Stevens must undergo random drug testing, is restricted in travel, and must not have contact with anyone under the age of 17, according to CBS News.
The investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office at 713-755-7571.
If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!
Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century
This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!