Dr. James Kohut, 57, is accused of molesting the children of different women he charmed across four different states including California and Nevada. He was arrested May 14 at a residence in Santa Cruz County on multiple felony charges including lewd acts with a child under 4.
Assistant District Attorney, Steven Moore, requested bail to be set at $40 million while defense attorney, Jay Rorty, set his request at $1 million. Meanwhile, protesters called for no bail; holding posters that read, “He did it once, he’ll do it again!”
Among the dozens of demonstrators was therapist Amy Pine who helps victims of sexual assault and abuse and is the co-founder of Friends of Survivors Healing Center. Pine’s efforts were focused on demanding Kohut was denied bail in order to make sure he faces trial. Kathy Riley, another protester, said,
“We’re concerned with his access to children.”
Kohut previously faced 11 felony charges back in July related to child molestation now faces a total of 48 amid new evidence. Rashel Brandon, a 42-year-old Watsonville nurse, was also arrested and charged with 44 felonies including sodomy with a child along with the production of child pornography. Lastly, Emily Stephens of Tucson, Arizona is the third alleged conspirator and is charged with 45 felony charges related to child-rape.
Appointed Judge John Salazar increased each defendant’s bail to $15 million during the arraignment on September 21.
The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office reports that Kohut has made suicide threats and engaged in a hunger strike since his arrest.
Isaac Lynn, Brandon’s younger brother, claims Brandon and Kohut worked at Dominican Hospital at the same time and says that the allegations are ‘deplorable’ and ‘appalling’.
“All parties have to face the full gamut of justice,” Lynn said.
According to court documents, the three defendants are shown repeatedly raping two boys under the age of 10 in a recently obtained GoPro video filmed in Watsonville between Jan. 1 and May 9.
The total number of victims includes five children, all under the age of 14, victimized across the span of 2003, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
An investigation report revealed Stephen’s neighbor’s claims that he has seen children at Stephen’s home “wandering outside naked, playing naked with water hoses in the mud and defecating on a poop mat,” reports The Mercury News (TMN).
TMN also claims Kohut was once disciplined for viewing pornography on University Medical Center computers while working at the institution as a neurosurgeon between 2002 and 2003.
For more information on how to keep your kids safe from predators visit Kids Live Safe.