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Brain Surgeon, Nurse Arrested For Child Sex Abuse In Santa Cruz

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

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports 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.

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; committing a lewd act upon a child under 14; and committing a forcible lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, according to Steven Moore, a county deputy district attorney.

The alleged crimes occurred in Santa Cruz County, Moore said.

"We anticipate making a decision about filing (charges) by tomorrow and we anticipate if there are charges filed (Kohut) will be arraigned on Wednesday," Moore said.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the case, which Watsonville police called "a serious sexual assault case which crossed state lines."

The FBI, the District Attorney's office and the regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force are assisting in the investigation, Watsonville police said.

Anyone with further information about the case is asked to contact the Watsonville Police Department Investigation Division at (831) 768-3350 or the Crime Tip Line at (831) 768-3544.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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