North Carolina

Food Lion executive arrested after police said he arranged meeting for underage sex

An executive at Food Lion's corporate offices was arrested Wednesday on a sex offense charge.

Hendersonville police said Paul Robert LaCroix, 54, was arrested without incident and charged with conspiracy to commit a first-degree statutory sex offense, according to a report from our sister affiliate WLOS.

Investigators said LaCroix was communicating with who he thought was an underage girl online and tried to meet her for sex. The meeting was to take place at an Ingles supermarket off of Asheville Highway. That girl turned out to be law enforcement.

A spokeswoman for Food Lion confirmed LaCroix was a vice president with the company and was suspended immediately pending the investigation.

"Food Lion was recently made aware of the situation involving Paul LaCroix today. He was suspended immediately from the organization, pending further investigation," Food Lion said in a statement.

Officers have seized computers and cell phones for the investigation.

While no children were involved, Capt. Chris Leroy said this incident serves as a good reminder for parents to keep an eye on their kids.

"Know and understand your children’s internet usage, whether it be through social media or mobile devices, computers," LeRoy, of the Hendersonville Police Department, advised parents. "Understand where they’ve been and make sure you monitor their activities."

LaCroix is being held at the Henderson County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,000 secured bond.


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