Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
STETSON BAPTIST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL TEACHER/VOLLEYBALL COACH ARRESTED AFTER SENDING SEXUAL MESSAGES TO 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL
A physical education teacher and volleyball coach at a private Christian school in DeLand was arrested tonight on charges he repeatedly sent sexually suggestive messages to a 14-year-old girl.
Now Volusia County Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking anyone else who had contact with 69-year-old Stephen M. Ward (DOB 12/13/1948) of Stetson Baptist Christian School to contact the VCSO Child Exploitation Unit (386-323-3574) if it’s believed anything suspicious or inappropriate occurred.
Around 1:19 a.m. Saturday, a deputy responded to the victim’s residence after her mother discovered text messages between the 14-year-old and Ward. The messages from Ward were sexually suggestive and referenced him performing sex acts on the victim.
While the victim told a deputy she has been in a relationship with Ward for about two weeks, she said the two have never had physical contact.
Ward’s charges are using an electronic device to seduce/solicit/lure a child and using a 2-way communication device to commit a felony. He was taken into custody Saturday evening to be interviewed before transport to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was to be held on $10,000 bail.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151