A University professor, arrested last week for attempting to have sex with a minor, will stay in jail awaiting trial, Fla., a federal judge ruled Friday during a detention order hearing in Ft. Lauderdale.
FBI agents arrested James Cavalcoli, an assistant professor of computational medicine and bioinformatics, last week in Florida after he had been chatting with an FBI agent posing as a father of a 14-year-old son for two years and was under the impression he was meeting up with the father to have sex with the boy when he was arrested at a Florida hotel.
At the hearing, the judge said Cavalcoli has been suspended with pay from his position as an assistant professor at the University. Cavalcoli’s attorney David Rothman said he expects the University will suspend Cavalcoli without pay sometime next week and will revoke his position when indicted, according to the Sun Sentinel.
According to court documents obtained by the Daily, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow decided Cavalcoli, 51, has reason to evade law enforcement.
For nine years, Cavalcoli lived with a domestic partner, who left him after news of his arrest, according to the judge. The judge also said Cavalcoli’s net worth of over $500,000 and extensive foreign travel makes him at risk to flee.
If released, Cavalcoli would have been placed under house arrest at his parents’ residence in upstate New York.
Snow cited Indiana and Ireland as places where Prosecutor Francies Viamontes said Cavalcoli had posted child sex inquires on a social media website, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Because of this, Viamontes also said Cavalcoli was at risk of evading law enforcement and presented a risk of committing more crimes.
“He says he has urges when he’s around children, sexual urges,” Viamontes said at the detention hearing.
FBI agents found Cavalcoli at the Bonaventure Resort and Spa in Weston, Fla. on Aug. 7. Cavalcoli confessed he came to the hotel to have sex with the boy.
Mary Masson, a University Health System spokesperson, told the Daily last week that Cavalcoli has been with the University for 13 years.
“We are currently reviewing the matter and will cooperate fully with law enforcement investigators,” Masson said.
Cavalcoli’s arraignment is set for Aug. 24.