A police officer in Pflugerville Independent School District, just north of Austin, has been accused of using Snapchat to solicit sex with 13-year-old middle school students.
Estavan Alonzo “Steve” Soliz, 49, an officer with the Pflugerville ISD Police Department, was fired in May, then arrested on June 15 and charged with online solicitation of a minor.
Soliz allegedly used the social media app Snapchat to message three 8th-grade students at Kelly Lane Middle School.
He asked one of the 13-year-old girls if she “had room for friends with benefits”—a slang term for people who engage in sexual activity without being in a romantic relationship.
The girl said Soliz also asked her to delete his messages.
All three students reportedly told the district that Soliz sent them inappropriate messages. One victim said she took photos of Soliz’ messages using another phone.
According to reports by KXAN Austin, Pflugerville ISD said the district initiated an investigation after one of the students reported the allegations on May 9. Soliz was immediately placed on leave and then fired on May 26.
Police found Soliz accessed Snapchat “over 200 separate times” on the school district’s wireless internet network.
Online solicitation is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison if the minor is younger than 14 years of age. The charge is also upgraded to the next higher category if the crime occurred during regular school hours and the perpetrator knew the minor was a student at the time.
A lawyer representing Soliz says the messages were “taken out of context” and denies the officer did anything wrong.
Soliz worked for the Pflugerville ISD police for more than 14 years.
Pflugerville ISD is one of many Texas school districts that maintains its own internal police department. Other districts employ members of local police departments as school resource officers (SROs).
A Frisco police officer who worked as an SRO for Frisco ISD for seven years was arrested earlier this month and charged with three felony sex crimes involving a 14-year-old student.
The Frisco and Pflugerville officers are among dozens of recently arrested “bad apples”—Texas teachers and school employees charged with sex crimes involving students and other minors.