The chief of staff for Department of Defense Education Activity schools in the U.S. was arrested last week during a two-day human trafficking operation in Coweta County, Georgia, according to local authorities.
Stephen Hovanic, 64, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, was arrested Nov. 15 in a sting that netted 25 additional suspects on charges related to prostitution as well as drugs, weapons and warrants, according to the Coweta County Sheriff's Office and its Police to Citizen Portal website.
Hovanic was charged with pandering — a crime that involves inducing or compelling an individual to take part in prostitution. In Georgia, it is a misdemeanor charge that includes soliciting the services of a prostitute, either for oneself or an arrangement for a third party.
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“Pandering is not a victimless crime, as the demand for prostitution drives the sex-trafficking market,” Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Toby Nix told the Newnan Times-Herald, a local newspaper, on Nov. 17.
Hovanic has served as chief of staff for DoDEA Americas since October 2010, according to his Defense Department biography, which has since been removed from the DoDEA website. An educator for more than 40 years, he worked as a high school vocational teacher, coach and school administrator in the Virginia public school system before joining DoDEA as assistant principal of Quantico High School in 1996.