Robert Herman-Smith. Photo courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

University professor Robert Herman-Smith, 55, was arrested Thursday on three counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to reports by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).

The report from CMPD states that a search warrant for Herman-Smith’s Matthews home was issued on Thursday following the “exchange of illegal pornographic material on the internet.” Current charges stem from a combined investigation between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that began in June of this year.

Herman-Smith, an associate professor in UNC Charlotte’s School of Social Work, has been with the university since 2008. He is currently on suspension while the university reviews the charges against him.

According to the university website, Herman-Smith’s research focused on “early childhood intervention for young children at risk for developmental problems due to trauma, maltreatment, and poverty.” His profile has since been removed from the university website.

Herman-Smith will appear in court Monday for these charges. According to DHS officials, it is likely that he will be brought up on federal charges in connection with this case in the future. Federal law states that a penalty for such charges carries a sentence of between 15 and 30 years for individuals with no prior convictions.

Kim Leaston is a News Staff Writer at Niner Times. As a senior Communication Studies major with minors in Journalism and Video Production, Kim is hoping to conquer the world by December 2018 (or at least graduate). When she isn't working, studying or plotting she can be found checking out the city with her fur baby Abby or visiting family in the 919.