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The GW Hatchet

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Former professor charged in child seduction case

A former GW Law School professor is facing six felony charges after undercover investigators said he allegedly attempted to seduce underage girls online.

An operation conducted by Florida law enforcement officials found Richard Donald Lieberman engaged in “questionable communications” with two detectives who were posing as 10- and 13-year-old girls, according to a court affidavit. Lieberman was arrested Thursday.

Lieberman worked as a part-time lecturer at GW last fall. University spokeswoman Courtney Bowe declined to say how long Lieberman was employed by GW or whether he was terminated or left voluntarily after the fall. The charges apply to Liberman’s activities from Aug. 11 to 25, 2010  according to the affidavit.

Lieberman “engaged in very explicit conversation about sex” and showed the detectives websites with male and female genitalia, according to the affidavit. He also told one detective he would “love to see some nice” photos.

The 65-year-old told the detectives posing as underage girls that he was 25 years old, later changing his age to 45 years old and that he taught law and lived in the District. Lieberman used Yahoo instant messenger to communicate with the girls from both his home in Bethesda, Md. and his K Street office at the D.C. law firm McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, where he worked.

In early January, officials searched Lieberman’s computer and cell phone for child pornography, but results proved negative. After analyzing his laptops and iPhone, computer forensic agents discovered evidence that Lieberman visited one girl’s profile and stored her contact information, according to the affidavit.

The court charges – filed in a Florida state court – include two counts of knowingly using a computer to to seduce a child, two counts of receiving a online information to facilitate sexual conduct, one count of lewd battery and a count of transmitting harmful material to a minor.

This was first reported by The Ledger.

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