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Former teacher charged with soliciting teens
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A former Ellinwood High School teacher, now living in Topeka, has been charged in Barton County District Court with two felony counts of electronic sexual solicitation of a minor between the age of 14 and 16 years.

Seth Lee Converse Stevens remains free on a $30,000 surety bond. Both of the alleged victims were 15 years old in the spring of 2009. The charges filed allege Stevens used a telephone, Internet or other electronic means in each case to solicit the minors to commit an unlawful sexual act.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred on March 29 and June 14 of 2009. A warrant was issued on March 10 of this year and Stevens turned himself and made his first court appearance before District Judge Mike Keeley on March 14.

As a condition of his bond, also posted in March, Stevens is not to have contact with either of the teenagers or any witnesses in the case. Court records show two Ellinwood police officers and a Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent have been involved in investigation of the case, which is being prosecuted by Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews.

Ellinwood USD 355 Superintendent Ben Jacobs said Stevens taught business courses at the high school and was an assistant basketball and track coach. He worked for the school district for two years, resigning at the end of the 2008-09 school year. While his teaching duties would have ended in May 2009, he would have received his contractual pay through August.

The next court hearing for Stevens is set for 9 a.m. on May 15 with Judge Dale Urbanek. This is a case status review and bond appearance, and is scheduled to be conducted via telephone.