Brain surgeon, nurse arrested in child sex abuse case

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (CBS NEWS) -- Authorities have arrested a brain surgeon and a nurse in Northern California on multiple charges involving child sexual abuse.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Dr. James Kohut was arrested Sunday at his home in Santa Cruz in cases involving a child under the age of 10 and a child under 14. He was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail and is being held without bail.

Watsonville police Capt. Jorge Zamora says nurse Rashel Brandon was arrested May 10 and charged with 11 felonies involving child sexual abuse as well as multiple charges related to the production of child pornography.

Both Kohut and Brandon worked at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.

"Dignity Health Dominican Hospital is aware of the allegations and has taken the appropriate steps," the hospital said in a statement to CBS affiliate KION. "In accordance with hospital policy, we cannot comment on personnel matters."  

Police said a community member alerted authorities about the alleged crimes about a week ago, reports KION. They are not saying if the cases are connected, the station reports.

Zamora says a third, unidentified suspect is in custody outside of California.

Kohut, 57, was arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act upon a minor under age 10, a lewd act upon a child under 14, and a forcible lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, said Steven Moore, a Santa Cruz county deputy district attorney, reports CBS San Francisco.

MORE: Read the full story at CBSNEWS.com

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