An eighth-grade social studies teacher from Derby North Middle School was in court Friday afternoon, facing charges related to explicit contact that authorities say he had with a law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.
Steven E. Young was arrested Monday at the school, 3100 N. Rock Road in Derby, after a Wisconsin sheriff’s office contacted Derby police asking for help in an investigation into Internet sex crimes against children. Young is now charged with one count of electronic solicitation of a child and one count of sexual exploitation of a child.
During his first appearance before Sedgwick County District Court Judge Jeffrey Goering, Young asked about the amount of his bond and noted that his family had been in contact with a defense attorney to represent him.
Under the solicitation charge, the criminal complaint that prosecutors filed in the case accuses Young of using electronic means of unlawfully enticing or soliciting a person he believed to be 14 to 16 years old to commit or submit to an unlawful sex act on Oct. 17.
He’s accused of possessing a sexually explicit image of a child on Oct. 19 in the sexual exploitation charge.
Young, 40, remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Friday evening in lieu of $100,000 bond, according to an online log of inmates.
In an interview earlier this week, Detective Chris Braman with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office in Oshkosh, Wis., said one of his investigators came across Young in a chat room known to draw adults preying on children. Braman wouldn’t go into specifics about the interactions that ensued between the pair but said the conversations eventually carried on outside of the chat room.
Young may also be facing charges in Wisconsin for related but separate crimes, Braman said.
A spokeswoman for Derby public schools on Tuesday said Young has been suspended from work pending the outcome of the investigation. A biography of Young on the school’s website says he has been a teacher for 15 years.
In Kansas, a conviction for electronic solicitation carries a presumptive prison sentence of at least 55 months, according to state sentencing guidelines.
Someone convicted of sexual exploitation with little to no prior criminal history can be sentenced to probation or prison.