Former Astros draft pick among 9 arrested in undercover child predator sting
HOUSTON – A former Minor League Baseball player is among nine people arrested in an undercover child predator sting, according to Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office.
The arrests were made in a two-day sting operation in which several local law enforcement agencies united to put an end to online solicitation of minors.
Constable deputies said 32-year-old Michael Schurz was charged with online solicitation of a minor and possession of controlled substances. Officials said he was also a former Minor League Baseball player and employed as a baseball instructor. Schurz was selected by the Astros in the 44th round of the 2009 first-year player draft and released in 2010.
Paul Doyle is Mike Schurz's attorney. He said he's not happy with how his client is being portrayed.
“We plan on fighting. Mike’s a good guy. He’s got a stellar reputation and we just ask that people reserve their judgment,” Doyle said. “We don’t understand why he’s in this position, yet we haven’t seen the evidence from law enforcement. Once we see all that, then our side of the story will come out.”
Doyle claims his client is innocent.
“My client is of the opinion that he was entrapped and we’ll see when all the evidence comes out, and I think everybody will be able to see what happened,” Doyle said. “When you have people posing to be other people that they’re not, and at the same time there’s a lot of lying going on.”
Doyle said he doesn’t believe the allegations should be played out in the media.
“I understand what the allegations are and I think it’s troubling that they’re (law enforcement) going to videotape the people that they arrest. It tells you this is done for the purposes of the press, the salacious nature of it,” Doyle said. “You don’t see that happening with other arrests, this is done for a press conference, not to make a case in court.”
Constable deputies also arrested 75-year-old Williard Billings, who they say took a bus and used a scooter in an attempt to meet with a person he thought was a 15-year-old girl. He was charged with online solicitation and is being held on a $5,000 bond.
Officials said during one arrest, a man tried to dive out a six-story window at a juvenile detention center.
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