Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pediatrician Charged with Exchanging Child Porn, Not a Re-Run!

AZCentral has the report of a Sun City (Arizona) physician charged in federal court with possessing, and exchanging pornographic images of children.  Worse the physician is a a pediatrician bringing to mind the case of Connecticut pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley featured here and at newsites around the world last December. 

What follows is an excerpt for Stepahnie Russo and Brennan Smith's account:

"A federal judge on Friday issued the release of a Sun City pediatrician accused of sharing thousands of pornographic images of children. Dr. Emilio Luna, 40, is charged with distributing child pornography in interstate commerce. Conditions of his release include that he surrender his passports, wear an electronic monitoring device and not have access to children or the Internet.

Authorities said Luna would not be released until those conditions were met. It was not clear if he remained in custody Friday evening.

Federal authorities arrested Luna on Wednesday after nearly a three-month investigation into the file sharing activity of "Speeedi69." A federal criminal complaint said someone with that user name shared files depicting sexual exploitative images of children engaging in sexual acts, at times with adult men.  FBI Cyber Crimes Squad agents traced the user name's Internet protocol address to Luna's home in Sun City, where he lives with his parents. Agents executed a search warrant of the residence Tuesday, according to the complaint.

During a search of Luna's bedroom, investigators seized two laptops, a desktop computer, four external hard drives and approximately 300 DVDs and DVD-Rs, some of which were encrypted. Investigators also found multiple passports and approximately $15,550 in a file folder in his closet.

Luna began working at Desert Valley Pediatrics in January of this year. Authorities do not know if any of the images were of patients from the West Valley practice [ . . . ]According to the office's website, Luna received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1996 and has been practicing pediatrics for over 10 years in California, Texas and Arizona.

His practice has been at least temporarily halted. On Friday, Luna signed a voluntary practice restriction on his medical license with the Arizona Medical Board. The restriction prevents him from practicing medicine in Arizona indefinitely, Executive Director Lisa Wynn said.

A conviction of distributing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office"
In the Earl Bradley case there is alleged, definitive evidence that monstrous crimes were committed by the pediatrician over many years against his patients.  That is not this case in the matter of Dr. Luna, yet. 

One of the most heart-breaking aspects of the Clergy Sex Abuse scandals was the place of honor held by clergy-perpetrators in the minds and memories of parishoners.  Those perpetrators baptised, educated, confirmed, routinely gave out sacraments, and blessings and of course presided over weddings and funerals.  The priest/perpetrators were frequently honored guests in homes, and alawys memorialized in family photos often prominently displayed on mantelpieces. 

I am reminded of these facts, because those of us who brought the original claims arising of child sex abuse by priests we were villified, threatened and insulted in the media.  I related here on Bad Lawyer how a woman I still occasionally encounter, asked me at the time "how do you sleep at night?"  This after I revealed information that a local icon/priest was a serial child molester eventuating his removal.  Her husband, the son of a local judge published my address and suggested that my home be vandalized. Eventually, a Vatican canonical trial found this vile Pastor guilty and he was "defrocked."  A locally reknwoned columnist called me "one of those lawyers who believes everything his client tells him." 

"Professionals" have the capacity to do great good and great injury.  Our licensure opens doors to degrees of intimacy and thus the opportunity to violate trust at the most fundamental level.  My struggle over the last year has been to embrace precisely how I did this not only to my family but to the clients who actually looked to me to advocate for them.   A dear old client, calls me still even within the last couple of days to talk about the currents in the crises of the Catholic Church and I am at a loss to say anything at all other than to remind him that I can make those arguments for anyone anymore.

1 comment:

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