A former Arlington elementary school principal was convicted in a Florida federal court Thursday of enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.Stephen Anthony Paulsen, 54, of Fort Worth was convicted after a four-day jury trial of using a social networking application to send explicit messages to an individual he believed was a 15-year-old boy for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. Paulsen faces a maximum of life in prison, according to a news release from the Homeland Security Department.Two condoms were found in his pocket when he was arrested. At the time, Paulsen was in South Florida visiting family.Paulsen, who was principal at Morton Elementary School in Arlington for two years, was arrested after he started chatting July 12 with a police officer who was posing as a teenage boy. Paulsen used the screen name “Tony Texas,” and the online chats lasted for days. After several sexually suggestive conversations, Paulsen tried to meet the boy when he believed the boy was home alone. According to the arrest warrant, Paulsen sent the detective photos of two naked men who appeared to be engaged in a sex act and made sexually explicit comments during the online chats. After the arrest, a technology manager from the school told authorities that he found an open website of pornographic videos when he repaired the principal’s district-issued iPad in 2012.The manager said he also saw 20 to 30 websites on the iPad’s browser history that included words like “boys caught on tape” and “young men,” according to court documents. When Paulsen was confronted, he suggested that a neighbor may have accessed the sites, according to documents. This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3