By Fred Hanson
The Patriot Ledger
The former Superintendent of Southbridge Schools has been arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in Worcester, police said.
Steven Bliss, 46, of 550 Liberty Street in Braintree was charged with offering to engage in sex for a fee and human trafficking following his arrest on Monday.
He was arraigned on the charges Tuesday in Worcester District Court, where he was released on his promise to return on Oct. 17 for a pre-trial conference, a spokesman for Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early said.
Phone and e-mail messages left for Bliss at the school were not immediately returned.
In a statement, Worcester Police said that their detectives assigned to the cyber crimes unit had numerous conversations with Bliss over the last several weeks where he offered to engage in sexual conduct for a fee.
Through conversations, Bliss arranged to meet an undercover officer at the McDonald’s at 995 Main St in Worcester.
“When Bliss arrived at the predetermined meet location, he was placed under arrest by detectives,” the Worcester Police statement said. “Evidence was recovered from Bliss at the time of arrest.”
CATS Academy is a private high school which caters to international students who board on campus. The school has a capacity of about 400 students and moved into its new campus this year on the site of the former Norfolk County Hospital on Washington Street this summer. It had operated in Newton for four years.
The school is run by an company based in England.
Bliss has been the school’s head of school for close to a year. He is a former Dover-Sherborn school superintendent and was briefly superintendent of the Southbridge school system. He was a finalist for the job of Braintree school superintendent last year.
He also served as principal at both the former Mary E. Wells Middle School in Southbridge and Tantasqua Regional High School in Sturbridge.