San Diego/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on June 14, 2024
Former University City High School Teacher Admits to Attempted Minor Enticement, Faces Life in PrisonSource: Google Street View

A former University City High School science teacher entered a guilty plea to a charge of attempted enticement of a minor in federal court yesterday. Sean Stevenson, the accused, admitted to seeking commercial sex with a 16-year-old while he was actively teaching, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Stevenson was apprehended in October last year, after attempting to meet up with whom he thought was the underage girl. Instead, he had been connecting with an undercover agent. According to the plea agreement, Stevenson negotiated a fee over a voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) text message to "Kash," who was later identified as part of a separate sex trafficking investigation. He explicitly sought to arrange to pay for sexual acts with a minor, and his preference was disturbingly clear: "The younger the better," Stevenson texted. It seems he was willing to split infinitive—to not only pay the minor but also provide a "finder's fee" to Kash, as detailed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

When the original contact, "Kash," was taken into custody, Stevenson's illicit communications continued unimpeded with an undercover officer. Persisting in his belief that he was in contact with Kash, Stevenson agreed to pay $140 for sexual services from a 16-year-old presented as Kash's cousin. Stevenson's arrest was made when he showed up at the pre-arranged meeting spot and was found with $140 in his vehicle, the exact agreed-upon price for the sexual encounter.

"Mr. Stevenson was a trusted member of the community who preyed upon our most vulnerable youth," said Christopher Davis, as per the U.S. Department of Justice, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Diego, highlighting the betrayal of trust inherent in Stevenson's actions. Law enforcement is dedicated to working together and to aggressively investigate and stop human trafficking and the exploitation of children. San Diego County Crime Stoppers (888-580-8477) and the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888) are open for reports from anyone with additional information on this or related cases.

Charged with attempted enticement of a minor, Stevenson now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, with a minimum mandatory of 10 years. His sentencing is scheduled for September 5. The case falls under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security Investigations and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek Ko and Andrew Sherwood at the helm of the prosecution.