Henderson County authorities arrested a Ford Lion executive after a sting operation over allegations he committed sex crime against a minor.
The executive is identified as 54-year-old Paul Robert LaCroix from Concord, North Carolina. The Hendersonville Police Department said LaCroix was charged with conspiracy to commit a first-degree statutory sex offense. He was allowed a $100,000 bond.
The executive was alleged to have engaged in “sexting” a minor that he believed to be 7 years old. He communicated with the girl online and attempted to meet with her for sex. It turned out it was a sting operation, and the girl was a law enforcement officer. The suspect even drove 100 miles for the supposed meeting.
LaCroix was released shortly after his arrest, and would be expected to appear in court on Friday.
Ford Lion, a grocery store chain, confirmed to media thea LaCroix indeed served as the vice president of the company for pricing.
Ford Lion also issued a statement Wednesday evening, announcing the actions they have taken against the executive in question. It reads: “Ford Lion was recently made aware of the situation involving Paul LaCroix today. He was suspended immediately from the organization, pending further investigation.
On Thursday, another confirmation came from the food store chain saying LaCroix is no longer employed with Ford Lion.
Henderson police Capt. Chris LeRoy took the case as an opportunity to remind parents anew to watch over and be vigilant about their young children’s online activity.
LeRoy said: “Know and understand your children’s internet usage, whether it be through social media or mobile devices, computers. Understand where they’ve been and make sure you monitor their activities.”
LaCroix’s neighbors expressed disgust with the allegations against him and reiterated that their community is a kid-friendly neighborhood.