$6.45M Bail Set for Surgeon Charged in Child Rape Scheme

Dr. James Kohut recruited women to find his victims, prosecutors say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2017 7:40 AM CDT
$6.45M Bail Set for Surgeon Charged in Child Rape Scheme
Dr. James Kohut faces multiple child rape charges.   (Watsonville Police Department via AP, File)

A judge set bail at $6.45 million on Wednesday for a Northern California brain surgeon charged with sexually abusing children, the AP reports. Prosecutors had opposed bail for Dr. James Kohut, saying the neurologist is a public danger who recruits women to help find child victims. The Santa Cruz DA's office said Kohut also discussed impregnating women to give birth to children he could sexually abuse in a so-called taboo family lifestyle. Prosecutors say there is no evidence he created such a family, but they have charged him with 11 counts of sexually abusing children under the age of 14. Kohut, 57, has pleaded not guilty. He was arrested last month along with two nurses charged with participating in the sex abuse. The arrest came four days days after cops arrested Rashel Brandon, 42, a nurse who worked at a nearby hospital.

Brandon's husband had turned over a video showing shows Brandon and another nurse, 29-year-old Emily Stephens, sexually abusing children. Court records and lawyers said Brandon implicated Kohut. Brandon is also charged with eight counts of sexually abusing children, per the Mercury News, and her bail has been set at $500,000. Stephens was arrested in Tucson, Ariz. Kohut's lawyer, Jay Rorty, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment but has previously denied the allegations. Rorty argued in court papers that Kohut does not represent a danger to the public or a flight risk. If Kohut does post bail, he will be monitored electronically. He voluntarily suspended his California medical license while the case is pending, and faces 165 years in prison if convicted. (More sexual abuse stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.