NORTH SHORE (KDKA) – A convicted child molester was arrested at the Carnegie Science Center.
Police say the man was inside the building and approached a child, claiming to be the child’s grandparent.
Today the Pittsburgh Public Schools spokesperson said they’re thankful that the teacher supervising the field trip acted on suspicions and it’s because of that teacher that Sherwood Stevenson was arrested.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:
Stevenson, 78, was just released from jail in December, after serving nearly five years in jail. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to molesting a 6-year-old boy in a cruise ship hot tub.
Out on probation, the Clinton man drove to the Carnegie Science Center Wednesday, refusing to pay admission and giving the staff a fake story.
“His excuse was that he was a grandfather of a child on the field trip,” said Public Safety Spokesperson Sonya Toler.
Not long after, a teacher with the Pittsburgh Gifted Center on a field trip with students, noticed the man hanging around. When questioned, Stevenson then gave the teacher the same excuse, pointing to a student, saying “that’s my grandson” and followed the group to the planetarium, sitting between the 12-year-old boy and the teacher.
“Sat down next to one of the students, a young man, struck up a conversation with him,” said Toler. “Offered him some candy, asked if he would like to see a movie.”
After the show in the planetarium was over, the teacher questioned the child about the man.
“The adult did ask the student if that was his grandfather,” said Toler. “And I believe that is what led to the 911 call, when the student said ‘no, I don’t know that man.’”
KDKA’s Heather Abraham Reports:
According to school officials and the Carnegie Science Center, the boy was not harmed.
Meanwhile, a federal judge has now issued a warrant following Stevenson’s arrest in Pittsburgh, saying that Stevenson failed to update his Megan’s Law status and failed to participate in sex offender treatment – both conditions of his probation.
Stevenson was unable to post the $40,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18.