FAULKNER COUNTY (KFSM) — A public defender in the River Valley was arrested by Faulkner County Police over the weekend during an online sex sting.
Daniel Stewart, 47, is a public defender for Sebastian County. According to the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office, he was arrested Saturday (March 19) on a charge of conspiracy to commit rape.
According to Faulkner County Sheriff Matt Rice, Stewart began communicating online with an undercover investigator in February. Communication continued and he agreed to meet on Saturday, March 19 for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact with a juvenile in exchange for money.
An affidavit details that the suspect placed an ad searching for contact with a “young guy” or “son.” Communication moved from email to the Kik messenger app, and arrangements to meet in Conway were made, but then the plans changed to meeting at a Fort Smith hotel. The suspect is said to have believed that he was meeting with an adult male and his 13-year-old son.
According to court documents, as soon as Stewart arrived at the hotel, he was taken into custody, and his vehicle was impounded.
Rice told our Little Rock sister station THV11 that this is just one of the few high-profile arrests the FCSO online crime unit has made recently.
Stewart is being held on a $250,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for April 18, according to the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday, (March 21), Stewart resigned as the Sebastian County public defender.