A Pennsylvania pediatrician allegedly sent sexually explicit messages to an underage girl in New Jersey after meeting her on a social media app, authorities said.
Dr. Moshe Markowitz, 47, of Allentown, met the high school student on the online chat site Omegle and began discussing oral sex and other explicit acts with her in late December on the gaming chat app Discord using an alias, prosecutors said.
An investigation was launched in January after a student at Warren Hills Regional High School in Warren County, NJ notified the school resource officer that her friend was in an inappropriate relationship with a man, according to a press release released this week.
Police raided Markowitz’s home last week and seized a cellphone and electronics, which revealed “graphic sexually charged conversations,” officials stated.
The doctor — who allegedly used the alias Steven Jones in his illegal sexts — was arrested on a charge of third-degree child endangerment — specifically for engaging in conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of a child, officials said.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender.Lehigh Valley Health Network rep Brian Downs told NJ.com that it took immediate action as soon it learned about the allegation and fired the alleged pedophile pediatrician. “We will assist authorities during their review. Due to the ongoing investigation, LVHN is not able to offer further comment,” he said.
On Monday, a petition was reportedly filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s board of medicine to suspend Markowitz’s medical license because he is allegedly “an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety.” The request has been approved and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled within 30 days.
“The possibility of other victims is always something we have a concern about, because of the fact he was on these apps,” but there was no evidence of other victims at this time, Warren County Prosecutor James Pfeiffer reportedly said.
It was “so troubling” that the defendant was tasked with caring for children, Pfeiffer added, while noting that it was also concerning that the crimes occured across state lines.
Markowitz, who earned his medical degree from Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, is due back in court on April 2, The Morning Call reported.
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