Crime News

Ex-Arlington ISD elementary school principal arrested for soliciting sex with 15-year-old boy

Ex-Arlington ISD principal arrested for soliciting sex with child

Stephen Paulsen, the principal at Morton Elementary School in Arlington, has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of soliciting a minor for sex; Paulsen, 54, was arrested July 18 in West Palm Beach.

New evidence shows that an Arlington ISD employee knew child porn had been accessed on Paulsen’s school-issued iPad in early 2012 but did not report the incident to police.

While visiting his parents in Florida, Paulsen propositioned who he believed to be a 15-year-old boy for sex.  He was really communicating with an undercover special agent from the Department of Homeland Security.

 Principal Stephen Paulsen laughed off the existence of child porn on his iPad and asked IT to remove it.

Paulsen used the screen name “Tony Texas” to chat with the agent and send him drawings of sexual acts. Paulsen told the teen he was an "excellent teacher/mentor especially with such a sweet sexy stud like you." Florida authorities arrested Paulsen after he arrived in a white van to meet the teen.

Since Paulsen’s arrest, a former campus technology manager at Morton has revealed that he knew child porn had been accessed on Paulsen’s school-issued iPad.

The IT employee, who now works for another school in the district, told authorities that he discovered “male child/young adult porn” on Paulsen’s iPad after being asked to fix a technical issue with the device in 2012.

Upon discovering the pornographic videos, the IT employee says he immediately informed the school secretary and the campus instructional facilitator, who suggested they ask Paulsen about the videos.

When confronted, Paulsen pointed the finger at an unnamed disabled child. Paulsen said he loaned the iPad to “a neighbor’s kid” with “special needs” and that he must have been the one looking at male child porn.

The IT employee said Paulsen laughed off the existence of child porn on his iPad and asked for it to be removed. The IT employee complied with Paulsen’s request. In the process of clearing the device’s cache, the IT employee says he found “20-30” pornographic websites in the browsing history.

Paulsen’s calm demeanor during the confrontation about child porn, and the fact that he had no history of sexual advances in the workplace led the IT employee to believe it was “a one-time incident.”

The IT employee says Paulsen deceived him and the other AISD employees who took him at his word. “We are both of exceptional moral character and could have never guessed that this was a continuing problem or issue that Mr. Paulsen had,” he wrote.

In a statement, Arlington ISD spokesperson Leslie Johnston said the district is cooperating with law enforcement.

"The information provided to the district court regarding the inappropriate material came to light after the recent arrest of Stephen Paulsen," the statement reads. "AISD continues to investigate in conjunction with law enforcement and is ensuring appropriate reporting procedures are followed."

Stephen Paulsen
Stephen Paulsen, 54, was arrested in Florida. Photo courtesy of Palm Beach Sheriff's Office
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An AISD employee says he found child porn on Paulsen's school-issued iPad in 2012.