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A UNC Charlotte professor sexually exploited a minor, police say

A UNC Charlotte associate professor was arrested Thursday in connection to the online exchange of “illegal pornographic material,” according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report.
A UNC Charlotte associate professor was arrested Thursday in connection to the online exchange of “illegal pornographic material,” according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

A UNC Charlotte professor was arrested Thursday in connection to an online exchange of “illegal pornographic material,” according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report.

Robert Herman-Smith, 55, faces several charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the Department of Homeland Security began an investigation in June into the exchange of porn on the internet, according to the report.

The investigation led to Herman-Smith’s home in Matthews, and police executed a search warrant of the home Thursday, the report said. The report didn’t provide details on what was discovered in Herman-Smith’s home.

He was arrested shortly before midnight Thursday, and charged with multiple counts of second- and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Herman-Smith is an associate professor in UNC Charlotte’s School of Social Work, and joined the school in 2008, according to his faculty website. His research focuses on early childhood mental health, according to the website.

The university is aware of Herman-Smith’s arrest and is currently reviewing the charges, university spokeswoman Buffie Stephens said in an email. Smith is immediately suspended from the university.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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