North Texas superintendent arrested in Houston-area child sex sting

A North Texas superintendent was among the seven men arrested in a Houston-area child sex sting.

Michael Stevens, 47, was arrested Thursday outside a school in Itasca, located 55 miles southwest of Dallas in Hill County.

Authorities said Stevens was caught asking for photos from someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl in Houston. It ended up being an undercover officer.

According to court documents, Stevens sent graphic messages and photos to an undercover officer who was posing as a teenager.

At one point, authorities said he suggested he could marry her mother so the two of them could have a secret sexual relationship.

"That he would consider divorcing his wife if he knew the girl’s mother would marry him so he would have more access to the teen," Harris County Constable Alan Rosen said.

The arrest warrant affidavit lays out the graphic online conversations investigators say Stevens carried on with the undercover officer, a relationship that began in April and continued through late May. 

The document quotes one interaction: "Get your mother to move y'all up to Waco or Fort Worth then you can skip school all the time come with me to my house..."

Investigators said he was planning to travel to the Houston area to engage in sexual acts. They said he sent pictures of his genitals and asked for nude videos and images in return.


7 suspects, including Itasca, Texas ISD superintendent, arrested in online solicitation of a minor sting

Seven suspects, including a Texas ISD Superintendent, arrested and charged following online solicitation of a minor sting

Rosen said it appears Stevens took some of the images while he was at work in his office.

"These cases should be a wake-up call for parents. You must know what your children are doing online," he said.

Stevens has been around children throughout his entire career.

The Itasca Independent School District hired him last spring.

Before his tenure as superintendent for Itasca ISD, Stevens was a school principal in the town of Electra, near the Texas/Oklahoma border beginning in 2014.

From 2006 through 2014, Stevens was a special education instructor and then promoted to assistant principal at Vernon High School near Wichita Falls.

Before that, starting in 2000, he spent five years as a PE teacher in Mesquite ISD.

Prior to that, Stevens taught special education and coached football in the South Texas town of Palacios.

"Anybody that has just spent his entire career around children. He was an assistant principal, superintendent. He has spent an enormous amount of his professional time around children and that’s very concerning to me," Rosen said.

Stevens was arrested outside of the school where he worked by deputies and officers who were waiting for him. 

"They surrounded him when he was going to his vehicle, but yeah, I think there was shock, shock and disbelief. He really didn’t say a lot, I think he was in shock," Rosen explained.

Stevens is now charged with online solicitation of a minor.

The Itasca school board will hold a special meeting Monday night to review his employment and possibly name an interim superintendent.