A former Emmy-winning medical correspondent for NBC was arrested for allegedly asking a 9-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit photos, according to new reports.
Dr. Bruce Hensel, 71, was charged Wednesday with asking the daughter of a friend through an online messaging app for the photos in August, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hensel, who worked as the on-air chief medical correspondent for NBC New York and Los Angeles, faces one felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes.
The Los Angeles Police Department launched an investigation into Hensel after they learned he and the girl shared inappropriate messages and photos. Hensel’s home in the Pacific Palisades was searched on Oct. 16 as per a search warrant.
He was booked into the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Detention Center and his bail was set at $5,000. His arraignment will be at a later date.
If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.
His lawyer Steve Sitkoff said his arrest came as a surprise.
“We are cooperating fully with the authorities and we are looking forward to a speedy and complete exoneration,” Sitkoff told NBC4 in Los Angeles.
Hensel, who is board certified in internal medicine and emergency medicine, joined NBC4 in 1987.
He was the executive producer on the Showtime show “Beyond the Opposite Sex” last year.
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