Sebastian County public defender Daniel Arthur Stewart was arrested on one count of conspiracy to commit rape on Saturday.
Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Stewart, 47, after he began communicating online with an undercover investigator.
The officer saw an online ad seeking a "young guy" or "son" and later identified him as Stewart by "using information obtained from the suspect in the chat, his Kik user name, and his Kik profile photograph," according to an affidavit.
Stewart was issued a $250,000 bond at his first appearance in district court on Monday. Conditions of his bond would also include electronic monitoring and Stewart would have to surrender his passport.
The FCSO was able to put more focus toward online investigations in September and has since made about 12 conspiracy to commit rape arrests, Sheriff Matt Rice said.
"Our department has done a lot of great work and we hope to keep it going," he said.
Another high-profile arrest in the FCSO’s sex stings includes Philip Frederic. Frederic, 55, was a school bus driver for the Pulaski County Special School District and was also music director of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville.
Stewart began chatting with an undercover FCSO deputy Feb. 1. He made plans to meet up with the undercover deputy and the deputy’s 13-year-old son, according to an affidavit.
Stewart was going to meet the two at the Hampton Inn in Conway.
However, he said he had been sick and said he wasn’t sure he could make the two-hour drive from Fort Smith but that, "You guys are welcome to come up here," the affidavit stated.
The deputy responded that he and his son could meet Stewart closer, and they decided to meet at the Hampton Inn in Fort Smith.
Three FCSO deputies and two FBI investigators, who assisted with the case, met Stewart at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday.
Officers confiscated a blue tote that had miscellaneous pornographic items and an iPhone. They took him to the Fort Smith Police Department for questioning, where he was later transferred to the Faulkner County Detention Center.
Stewart is due in Faulkner County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. April 18.
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)