Pentagon Official Arrested In Georgia Human Trafficking Sting

( – A senior Pentagon official was swept up in a recent human trafficking sting in Georgia. The man, Stephen Hovanic, is accused of soliciting prostitution in a hotel room from a woman he believed to be a masseuse. Hovanic, 64, was recorded on video by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) allegedly negotiating terms for adult services from the undercover woman.

Hovanic, the Department of Defense Education (DoDEA) Chief of Staff, has been in charge of overseeing the DoDEA’s federally operated school systems since 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile. In that position he is responsible for the education infrastructure relating to the thousands of children of service members around the globe, ranging from pre-kindergarten though 12th grade. It’s estimated that the DoDEA employs around 15,000 staff and serves nearly 70,000 children.

The Pentagon has only said they are aware of Hovanic’s arrest and their website now shows his position within the department as vacant. He’s been charged by the CCSO with pandering for the solicitation, a misdemeanor charge. Deputies moved in and arrested him after he handed the woman cash, but Hovanic claims he did nothing wrong and was paying her only for a massage.

Authorities dispute Hovanic’s claim saying that when the undercover agent told him “I don’t play before you pay” and he responded by agreeing and handing her cash indicates he was attempting to pay for more than a massage. Hovanic has had long a career in education, having previously coached football, and having taught and served as a principal at a number of the schools within the DoDEA prior to being elevated to Chief of Staff.

The CCSO says the two-day sting operation led to the arrests of 26 people, 12 were for prostitution, another 10 were for pandering and four were for pimping. Police say they also nabbed three people who are suspected of human trafficking and drug-related charges.

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