Crime & Courts

Food Lion executive resigns amid child sex investigation

Paul Robert LaCroix
Paul Robert LaCroix Hendersonville Police Department

A Food Lion executive has resigned a day after police charged him with a sex offense involving someone he thought was a girl but turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Food Lion immediately suspended 54-year-old Paul Robert LaCroix of Concord pending the investigation, but LaCroix has since resigned, Food Lion spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said Thursday.

LaCroix was Food Lion’s vice president of pricing. Police in Hendersonville in the North Carolina mountains arrested LaCroix on Wednesday, accusing him of trying to arrange online to meet the supposed girl for sex.

LaCroix was taken into custody without incident and charged with conspiracy to commit a first-degree statutory sex offense, according to police. LaCroix was taken to the Henderson County Detention Center and is now free on $100,000 bail. Hendersonville is 22 miles south of Asheville.

LaCroix held the executive job for nearly eight years, according to his LinkedIn page.

He previously helped develop Food Lion’s Bottom Dollar small-format, full-shop grocery store concept, his LinkedIn page says, after having been Food Lion’s vice president of category management.

Police seized computers and cellphones as part of the investigation, Asheville ABC-TV affiliate WLOS reported.

LaCroix’s arrest was part of the department’s ongoing participation in the N.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Hendersonville Police said on the department’s Facebook page.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak