Pentagon Official Overseeing Schools Arrested In Human-Trafficking Sting

Photo: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

A senior Pentagon official who oversaw federally operated schools was among the arrests made in a Georgia human-trafficking sting recently.

Stephen Hovanic, 64, a former chief of staff for the Americas division of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), was charged with pandering -- a misdemeanor in the state of Georgia -- and among the 26 individuals arrested last week, FOX 5 Atlanta.
Authorities accused Hovanic, whose LinkedIn page states that he's held the chief of staff position since 2010, of soliciting sex in a motel room with an undercover agent.

Hovanic claimed he was at the motel to get a massage, however, video footage obtained by FOX 5 Atlanta shows him interacting with the undercover agent and placing his sunglasses next to a pack of condoms that deputies had staged in the room.

"This kind of operation is really important to us, because, number one, sex buyers are a huge problem in the industry. Without sex buyers, there wouldn't be a market for the females to continue to be victimized," an agent told FOX 5 Atlanta on the condition of anonymity. "Second, and probably most importantly for all of us, is the victimization of these females. There's not a good scenario for them in this lifestyle, so the goal is to get them out of this lifestyle."

The two-day human-trafficking sting resulted in 12 individuals being arrested for prostitution, 10 for pandering and four for pimping, according to the Haralson County Sheriff's Office.

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