SOLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man arrested in a sex trafficking sting last week in Newaygo County has bonded out of jail, returning home to the Cedar Springs area, where parents are raising concerns about the safety of their children.
Steven Thompson, 33, was one of three men busted in the sting announced during a multi-agency news conference on Aug. 25. Police announced six total arrests, three from another sting in Mecosta County. Both operations were to identify people seeking to exploit young kids.
Thompson has been on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry since 2008 after pleading guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving force or coercion.
A day after the news conference, Thompson was charged with two felonies: accosting children for immoral purposes and using computers/internet with another to commit a crime.
Hours later, he posted bond and returned home to the Cedar Springs area.
Residents living at White Creek Country Estates, a Solon Township mobile home park that Thomson frequents, spotted him Friday at the school bus stop.
“We didn’t even know he bonded out,” White Creek resident Helen Mickam said.
Mickam reported the sighting to management. The mobile home park acted quickly, moving the bus stop to a more secure location and alerting parents to be on the lookout. Kent County Sheriff’s Department also stepped in, confirming a no trespassing order was issued to Thompson.
Mickam was surprised to learn a suspected predator was among them. She had known Thomson for a few years but never knew he was registered sex offender. She said Thompson would often be at her friend’s house where kids were present.
“I don’t know if he ever told my friend that he had a conviction like that,” she said. “I don’t think anybody knew.”
Mickam is relieved to know her community has taken measures to protect kids moving forward.
Thompson has a probable cause hearing scheduled for Sept. 9.
The two other men charged in the Newaygo County sex trafficking sting are Evan Lakatos and Danial Schmidt of Muskegon County.