Stephen Paulsen

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a not guilty plea from a former Arlington elementary school principal on child sex charges in Florida.

Stephen Paulsen, the former principal of Morton Elementary School stood before U.S. magistrate Dave Brannon and entered a not guilty plea. Police in Boynton Beach arrested the 54-year-old after he tried to engage a minor in sexual activity.

Greg Schiller, with the Florida State Attorney’s Office, said, “Chat conversation from Mr. Paulsen was sexually charged and what in Florida amounted to probable cause for there to be charges for soliciting a minor online.”

Instead of propositioning a teenager Schiller said Paulsen’s communications were with an undercover officer. “During the chat he sent pictures of adult males, engaged in sexual activity, to what he believed to be a 15-year-old child.”

The accusations against Paulsen are even more serious because he allegedly went a step further than just chatting and sending sexual texts. Schiller said, “He traveled to come meet the minor; to engage again in what we believe, there’s probable cause to believe, for sexual activity.”

Paulsen’s next court appearance isn’t expected to take place until October. If convicted he faces up to life in federal prison. The former North Texas educator could face additional charges in Arlington for reportedly having pornographic websites on his school-issued iPad.

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