Culture&Arts

Surgeon charged with child sex abuse suspected for years

Surgeon charged with child sex abuse suspected for years

Authorities said the former brain surgeon charged with raping kids in Northern California sought to impregnate women to have sex with their children. His medical licenses have been suspended in Alabama and Arkansas and he agreed to voluntarily surrender his California license as part of his bail conditions. Kohut was ordered back to court June 28 to set a bail figure.

A judge said Kohut was entitled to bail and ordered a report about his finances to help determine an amount. James Kohut bail while he awaits trial on 11 charges related to child sex abuse. Kohut is still licensed to practice in California, but had recently moved to Arkansas - possibly to avoid these charges - and now 11 different victims are alleged in court documents.

Santa Cruz Assistant District Attorney Steve Moore told the court the California brain surgeon has a "fixed sexual desire" to be part of numerous "taboo families".

Kohut had been investigated by multiple police agencies since 1997, though he's never been charged until now.

Santa Cruz Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Clark confirmed that the department did open an investigation, but declined to discuss details.

The investigation of Kohut began last month when the husband of a nurse gave a video to police that involved his wife.

Prosecutors made the claims in court as they tried unsuccessfully to deny Dr. James Kohut bail, according to the Associated Press.

Allegations against Kohut also stem from an encounter in 2003, when he expressed interest in having sexual relations with a woman and her young daughter.




Moore said in documents filed last Friday that Kohut "has a sexual compulsion, and has solicited victims for decades", Moore said. The woman told investigators that Kohut assaulted her in a motel room after her mother, who Kohut had met online, passed out.

Kohut's attorney pleaded not guilty on all charges, on his behalf.

The Santa Cruz prosecutor also believes Dr. Kohut and Rashel Brandon were making plans to adopt a child via the foster care system, or from Mexico, for the sole objective of creating a taboo family.

Two nurses, Rashel Melina Brandon, 42, and Emily Joy Stephens, 29, also allegedly engaged in the abuse while working with Kohut. Brandon is also married and has three children. Kohut's lawyer Jay Rorty countered that the doctor was just experiencing a "dark night of the soul" and that experts had not judged him to be a suicide risk, according to the paper.

Kohut's attorney argued in court papers filed Thursday that video recordings and other evidence implicates the two nurses, but not the doctor. "Much of the evidence against Dr. Kohut consists of allegations by Brandon, who has already demonstrated a willingness to lie to investigators regarding her own crimes even when confronted with images evidencing her criminal conduct".

Sheriff's and Seaside police didn't return calls.

Kohut was arrested shortly after he took a new job with a Fort Smith, Arkansas, hospital, which has since fired him.

Also in court on Monday, Stevens approved a request by the California Attorney General to suspend his medical license in California.


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