High school teacher tries to pay ‘premium’ for sex acts with California teen, feds say

A 58-year-old former high school teacher is facing prison time after pleading guilty to looking for sex acts with a 16-year-old in California, federal officials said.

In 2023, Sean Stevenson, a high school science teacher with University City High School in San Diego at the time, believed he was meeting with a 16-year-old to engage in sex acts, according to a June 13 news release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Stevenson was looking for commercial sex with a woman who identified herself as Kash, prosecutors said.

Stevenson offered Kash “a premium” to bring him a girl under the age of 18, officials said.

Over text message, Stevenson told Kash, “the younger the better,” officials said.

When Kash suggested an 18-year-old, Stevenson replied, “not young enough,” officials said.

Kash was later arrested as part of the sex trafficking investigation, and an undercover agent continued the conversations, prosecutors said.

That’s when the agent, posing as Kash, “offered a 16-year-old cousin for commercial sex,” officials said.

As the communication continued, Stevenson stated he was “interested in her” and negotiated a $140 fee to meet up, officials said.

Stevenson arrived at the location to meet the 16-year-old and was arrested in October with the $140 in his car, prosecutors said.

Stevenson pleaded guilty June 13 to seeking commercial sex with a teenage girl while he was a teacher.

McClatchy News reached out to University High School for a statement on June 14 and was awaiting a response.

“Mr. Stevenson was a trusted member of the community who preyed upon our most vulnerable youth,” Christopher Davis, acting special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations San Diego, said in the release. “HSI is fully committed to working with our law enforcement partners to rescue victims and aggressively investigate allegations of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. We encourage anyone who has information related to human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children to report it to law enforcement immediately.”

McClatchy News reached out to Stevenson’s lawyer on June 14 and was awaiting a response.

Stevenson is facing life in prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, officials said.

He is set to reappear in court in September for his sentencing, according to the release.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

To report potential trafficking situations, you can contact the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or chat with the online hotline.

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