Santa Cruz Doctor, Others Arrested for Sexual Abuse of Children

Santa Cruz Doctor, Others Arrested for Sexual Abuse of Children

James Kohut (L), Emily Stephens (M), Rashel Brandon (R)

SANTA CRUZ — Noted neurosurgeon Dr. James Kohut has been arrested on child molestation charges as of last Tuesday, after the Watsonville Police Department were made aware of a serious sexual assault case that spanned across state lines. Watsonville Police have also arrested two other suspects in this case.

On the morning of May 9, 2017, the Watsonville Police Department received information and obtained videos that depicted several adults engaging in lewd acts with children as young as 3.  They immediately launched an investigation.

Police identified one of the suspects as 42-year-old Rashel Brandon of Watsonville within hours of viewing the video.  She was arrested at her home.  Police searched her residence and found abundant evidence connecting her to the crimes.

She has been charged with lewd and lascivious acts with force with a child under 14, sending harmful matter with the intent to seduce a minor, specific sex acts with a child under 10, specific sex acts with a child under 14, and sexual acts, with force, with a child under 14.

As the investigation continued, they identified a second suspect as 29-year-old Emily Stephens from Arizona.  The Watsonville Police Department worked with the Pima County Sheriff’s Office to obtain and execute a search warrant at her residence.  She was arrested on May 12th.

She will be charged with lewd and lascivious acts, with force, with a child under 14, sending harmful matter with the intent to seduce a minor, specific sex acts with a child under 10, specific sex acts with a child under 14, and specific sex acts with force with a child under 14.  It is unclear at this time whether the state of Arizona will file charges.

The San Jose ICAC Task Force also assisted in the investigation and, on Saturday, May 13, they helped identify a third suspect as 57-year-old Dr. James Kohut of Arkansas. Kohut has residences Arizona, Merced, and Santa Cruz.

Detectives seized numerous item of evidence after the arrest and searched the Santa Cruz home.  He will be charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, lewd and lascivious acts with force with a child under 14, and specific sex acts with a child under the age of 10.

Overall, the police have taken seven children into protective custody.  Their ages range from 3 to 13 years of age.   Based on the evidence, the Watsonville Police Department believes that these individuals had been working together.

Santa Cruz Doctor, Others Arrested for Sexual Abuse of Children was last modified: May 31st, 2017 by admin
Categories: Santa Cruz