A Duke University official has been arrested and charged with offering a 5-year-old boy for sex.
Frank Lombard, the school's associate director of the Center for Health Policy, was arrested after an Internet sting, according to the FBI's Washington field office and the city's police department.
According to an affidavit by District of Columbia Police Detective Timothy Palchak, an unidentified informant facing charges in a separate child sex case led authorities to Lombard.
Authorities said that Lombard tried to persuade a person — who he did not know was a police officer — to travel to North Carolina to have sex with a child.
The detective's affidavit charges that Lombard identified himself online as "perv dad for fun" and said in an online chat that he had sexually molested the boy. The court papers say Lombard also invited the undercover detective to North Carolina to have sex with the boy and even suggested which hotel he should use.
Lombard was charged in federal court in Washington with attempting to induce someone to cross state lines to engage in sex with a child. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
He appeared in federal court in Durham, N.C., on Friday before Magistrate Judge Wallace Dixon. At the hearing, Lombard agreed to be transferred to Washington for a later court hearing. His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs at Duke, said Lombard has been employed with Duke University since 1999. He is now on unpaid administrative leave.
"Duke is cooperating with the investigation," Schoenfeld said. He said the university was notified of the incident after Lombard was arrested.
Authorities executed a search warrant Wednesday evening at Lombard's home, according to court documents. The papers show investigators seized two webcams, five computers and a sex toy, among other items.