Pentagon school official charged with soliciting sex in prostitution sting

November 27, 2023

A top official in the Pentagon's public school system was caught soliciting sex in a prostitution sting outside of Atlanta. 

Stephen Hovanic, 64, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, was charged with pandering, a misdemeanor in Georgia, after a two-day sting operation in Coweta County.

Pentagon official charged

Hovanic is the chief of staff in the Americas division of the Department of Defense Education Activity, which provides schooling for military families.

The Americas division has 20,000 students in 50 different schools.

A spokesperson for the agency said they are "aware" of Hovanic's arrest but declined to comment, only adding that Hovanic was placed on leave.

Four men were arrested and charged with pimping. They are: Prince Antoine, 25, of Lithonia, Georgia; Victor O. Alvarez Martinez, 32, of Miami; Sergio J DeArmas Alfaras, 36, of Cutler Bay, Florida, and Juan Puente, 33, of Miami, Florida.

"Pandering is not a victimless crime, as the demand for prostitution drives the sex trafficking market," Sgt. Toby Nix of the Coweta County Sherriff's office said.

"The victims were taken to an undisclosed 'safe house', where they will receive the help they need to move forward from the heinous crime of human trafficking," Nix added.

"All females contacted in this operation were offered the same assistance with some refusing any aid," he added.

Motel sting operation

The police say Hovanic attempted to solicit sex with an undercover police officer at a motel room on November 16.

A video of the sting was shared with Fox 5 Atlanta.

26 people were arrested in all, including 12 for prostitution, 10 for pandering, and four for pimping. Some of those arrested for pimping could face human trafficking charges.

The Coweta Sherriff's office worked with the Haralson County Sherriff's office, the Department of Homeland Security and Frontline Response, a Christian non-profit that aims to help victims of sex trafficking.

Six human trafficking victims were identified during the sweep.

Former school principal

Before starting his career with the Pentagon in 1996, Hovanic was a public-school teacher and administrator in Virginia.

He worked as the assistant principal at Quantico Middle-High School and as principal of Dahlgren Unit School before moving to the DoDEA-Americas headquarters in Peachtree City.

This comes after a different Pentagon official was arrested in October for running a vicious dogfighting ring out of his Maryland home.

Frederick Douglass Moorefield Jr., 62, was the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, and Communications, for Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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