Duke researcher charged with child sexual exploitation

From staff reportsNovember 15, 2013 

— A Duke University researcher has been arrested on charges of child sexual exploitation.

William Lee Ebenstein, 57, of 2914 Buckingham Road in Durham, was charged with seven counts of second-degree sexual-exploitation of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was being held Friday in the Durham County jail on $600,000 bond.

Ebenstein is a researcher in Duke’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and has been employed at Duke since 1991. University spokesman Keith Lawrence said Ebenstein was placed on leave while charges are pending, as is standard procedure.

Ebenstein is not on the faculty, Lawrence said. “The university is cooperating fully with the investigation,” he said.

The FBI released a statement Friday saying it is working with the Duke police department and other local law enforcement on the case, which is still under investigation.

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