UNC Charlotte professor facing six charges of sexual exploitation of a minor


CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A professor with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is facing several charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Robert Lewis Herman-Smith, 55, was charged with three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Herman-Smith was arrested just before midnight Thursday.

According to a police report, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police began investigating the "exchange of illegal pornographic material on the internet" in June. The report states that a search warrant was executed at Herman-Smith's home in Matthews.

Before the professor's bio and page were removed from the university's website, it stated that he was an associate professor and MSW program director with the school's social work program. The website stated that he joined the faculty in 2008.

The website claimed that Herman-Smith was an early childhood mental health certificate coordinator and a NC child welfare education network site coordinator.

His research was heavily focused on "early childhood intervention for young children at risk for developmental problems due to trauma, maltreatment, and poverty," the website stated.

A spokesperson with UNC Charlotte released this statement Friday:

"UNC Charlotte has just been made aware of the arrest and is currently reviewing the charges.  In the meantime, Robert Herman-Smith is being immediately suspended from the University."

The arrest came after a joint investigation by CMPD and ICE/Department of Homeland Security. DHS officials said Herman-Smith could likely be facing federal charges in the near future in connection with the case.

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