A public defender in Arkansas has been arrested after he was caught in a child molestation sting.

47-year-old Daniel Arthur Stewart, a Sebastian County public defender, was arrested at a hotel in Fort Smith Saturday evening after arranging to meet a 42-year-old man and his 13-year-old son to have sex.

The man Stewart had been corresponding with, however, was an undercover detective with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office internet crimes unit.

The detective first made contact with Stewart on February 1st after coming across an online ad Stewart posted online looking for “a young guy” or a “son” to have sex with.

The detective then pretended to be a 42-year-old man with a 13-year-old son, and Stewart showed interest in having sex with both the father and the son.

They corresponded back and forth on the messaging app Kik and eventually arranged to meet in the city of Conway on March 19th.

The meeting place was changed when Stewart got in touch with the undercover detective, telling him he was “too sick to make a two-hour drive”.

He was immediately taken into custody when he walked into the hotel’s lobby on Saturday around 5:15 p.m.

He now resides in the Faulkner County Jail and has been charged with conspiracy to commit rape. If convicted, he could spend anywhere from 6 to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, lose his law license, and have to register as a sex offender.

He’s been ordered held on $250,000 bond, and if he posts it, will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor and surrender his passport.

Gregg Parrish, the executive director of the Arkansas Public Defenders Commission, accepted Stewart’s resignation.

Parrish is now trying to find someone to take over the 150+ felony cases Stewart had been assigned to.

His court date has been set for April 18th.


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