PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A Texas elementary school principal arrested in July for soliciting a teen for sex in Boynton Beach has been convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Stephen Anthony Paulsen, 54, of Fort Worth, was found guilty Thursday of attempting to entice a minor to engage in an illegal sexual activity. His trial lasted four days.
At the time of his arrest Boynton Beach police said he thought he was meeting a fifteen-year-old boy off a social media site, but it was actually an undercover office. Paulsen was in South Florida visiting relatives.
He worked for the Arlington Independent School District for eight years, the last two as a principal. He resigned after the charges became public.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said, "This conviction represents the fruits of a cooperative effort by local, state and federal authorities in the investigation and prosecution of child exploitation cases."
Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz said in a news release, "One of the primary objectives of the Boynton Beach Police Department is the protection of our community's youth. The Boynton Beach Police Department - in cooperation with our valued federal law enforcement and prosecutorial partners - have taken important steps to protect our children from those who seek to shamelessly exploit their innocence. We remain committed to similar operations going forward."
Paulsen faces a 10 year mandatory term in prison and a maximum life term when he is sentenced.
NewsChannel 5's Brian Entin contributed to this report.