Pflugerville ISD officer accused of sending 3 middle school girls inappropriate messages

A former Pflugerville school district police officer has been charged with online solicitation of a minor and tampering with physical evidence.
A former Pflugerville school district police officer has been charged with online solicitation of a minor and tampering with physical evidence.

A Pflugerville school district police officer was arrested this month after he was found to have messaged three middle school girls on Snapchat and had inappropriate conversations with each of them, according to arrest affidavits.

Estavan "Steve" Soliz is the former officer at Kelly Lane Middle School. Records say he'd been an officer for 26 years, 14 of which were with the Pflugerville school district. The middle school only has one officer, the affidavit said.

Police charged Soliz, who also is referred to as Estevan in the affidavit, with online solicitation of a minor and tampering with physical evidence.

Pflugerville ISD: Officer arrested for 'possible inappropriate interactions' with students

The arrest affidavit said the first victim made an "outcry" to a school counselor on May 9 that she was "nervous" because Soliz messaged her on Snapchat asking if she "had room for friends with benefits." It said she asked Soliz what he meant by benefits, to which he responded by saying he would tell her in person the next day.

The affidavit says that message caused the first victim to have a panic attack and that she was worried that if she was alone with Soliz, he would try to "initiate sexual contact with her."

Other recorded parts of the conversation show that Soliz asked her to delete the messages and to not "tell people our business or that we talk," the affidavit said.

As the first victim was telling the counselor about these messages, video camera footage shows Soliz "lurking" near the office door in an attempt to eavesdrop and peer into the window, according to court records. That prompted staff members to cover the window on the door.

In a written statement, Soliz's lawyer said he's been "transparent and cooperative" throughout the investigation and that he's "steadfastly protected the students under his care" as an officer.

"The messages highlighted in the probable cause affidavit are not only taken out of context but do not accurately reflect the intent and nature of the conversations that occurred," said Soliz's lawyer, Stephen Toland. "In other instances, the allegations in the probable cause affidavit are simply not true. Mr. Soliz did not ever engage in inappropriate relations with any students, and we look forward to presenting the complete story."

During the course of the conversation with the first victim, she told the counselor she was worried about a friend who she believed also was being contacted by Soliz, the document said. School officials located the second victim and she said Soliz had messaged her on Snapchat saying her appearance was "fine," and when talking about a male love interest of the victim, commented that if he "were him (he'd) be trying to hit that."

The affidavit says that Soliz also asked the second victim to delete the messages, which she was able to capture using another phone.

During an interview with detectives on May 17, the document said, the second victim said there was a potential third girl Soliz had similar interactions with. It said the school counselor made contact with that victim two days later, when it was discovered that Soliz had given her a used phone after her parents had taken hers away. Soliz had already downloaded Snapchat on the phone and added himself as a friend before giving it to her, the affidavit says.

The third victim repeatedly tried to refuse the phone and give it back three separate times, with Soliz saying that it would make him "sad" and that he'd be "hurt" if she didn't accept it, according to the affidavit. The third victim felt "compelled" to keep the phone and turned it over to investigators. She said Soliz would message her things like "hi" and send her heart emojis, it said.

During an interview with police, Soliz said the term "benefits" came from a conversation that a couple of male students had near him where they said there were "benefits" to being Soliz's friend. He said the term meant things like "snacks and sleepovers and other privileges," the affidavit said. Investigators said that both of the male students denied that the conversation happened.

Soliz also told police that he deleted Snapchat after the outcry, which he said was done because students were still messaging him and he "was done with it."

District officials have told the Statesman that they are committed to "fostering a safe learning environment" and commended school officials, parents and law enforcement for their part in the investigation.

"The work to maintain this safe environment is everyone’s responsibility," the statement said. "We are proud of the courage and maturity these students showed in sharing their concerns with trusted adults."

The school district police placed Soliz on leave on May 9 after hearing of the accusations and he was fired on May 26, officials said. Police arrested him on June 15.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Texas school officer sent 'inappropriate' messages to 3 girls: Affidavit