Former Mid-Cities Principal Snared in Sex Sting Will Not Be Released, Pleads Not Guilty

Pre-trial hearing set for early September

A former elementary school principal with the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District pleaded not guilty in court Thursday on charges he solicited oral sex online. Meanwhile, a judge ruled in Thursday's detention hearing that Figueroa will not be released at this time.

Oscar Figueroa is being held after being charged with federal coercion and enticement of a minor for sex after being arrested by Frisco police at Stonebriar Centre Mall earlier this month.

Homeland Security Special Agent Justin Mitchell, with the Child Exploitation Unit, testified Thursday that on July 7 Figueroa posted an ad on Craigslist seeking "male-for-male" oral sex at the AMC in Frisco.

Figueroa's ad said he would be at the movie theater from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mitchell said. An undercover detective texted a phone number listed in the ad, posing as a 16-year-old boy.

Mitchell testified an undercover detective then met Figueroa at the movies, and told him he was nervous. Figueroa directed the officer to a unisex bathroom, and he was arrested shortly thereafter.

Figueroa entered a plea of not guilty Thursday. A pre-trial hearing has been set for early September in Sherman. Judge Don Bush said he would reconsider releasing Figueroa if the defense can prove this is an isolated incident.

Mitchell testified Figueroa told police this isn't the first time he has posted on Craigslist; however, his defense team believes this is an isolated incident.

"We were hopeful [of his release] because Mr. Figueora is obviously a very exceptional person, he has a great history, no issues in the past," said Katherine Reed, an attorney with the defense team.

"This, we are hoping to prove, would be an isolated incident if it did in fact happen the way they allege, which of course we don't necessarily agree with that. But we are just at the beginning of that process and discovering what happened."

Earlier this week Figueroa resigned his position as principal of Viridian Elementary School, an HEB ISD school that opened in the Viridian master-planned community in North Arlington last January.

If found guilty of the federal charge, Figueroa faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with the possibility of life behind bars.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith, Jocelyn Lockwood and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

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