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|Federal appeals court upholds former Grady doctor's conviction on sex charges|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|April 05, 2012 16:16|
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 320-month prison sentence against former Grady Memorial Hospital emergency room physician Adam Wayne Lebowitz, according to a story in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Lebowitz, who is gay and HIV positive, was an Emory medical student when he worked at Grady Memorial. He was arrested, charged and convicted for coercing a minor to engage in sexual acts. He also produced child pornography.
Lebowitz was arrested after an undercover sting operation that included a 15-year old boy who worked with Coweta County law enforcement.
In the ruling, the Atlanta-based federal appeals states that K.S. was 15 when he registered for a Myspace account but falsely claimed to be 21 so as to have his profile available to be viewed by the public. K.S. then set up his profile to state his age as 17 or 18, the ruling explains.
On Oct. 25, 2006, Lebowitz, whose Myspace profile described him as a 47-year old doctor, contacted K.S. and the two began corresponding via online chats and email. Lebowitz also sent K.S. nude photographs of himself and, according to the ruling, K.S. did tell Lebowitz he was actually 15.
K.S. told his mother of the chats and she got his phone number and "threatened to kill him if he did not stop contacting her son," according to court documents. When Lebowitz again contacted K.S., the mother called the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.
Coweta law enforcement suggested the mother allow K.S. and Lebowitz continue to remain in contact but for K.S. to make clear that he is only 15. The two also corresponded by phone.
"In the last phone call, K.S. and Lebowitz arranged to meet at K.S.'s home the following day. K.S. again mentioned he was only 15 years old. Lebowitz responded in a surprised tone, 'I thought you were 17.' K.S. again said he was 15. After a pause, Lebowitz responded, 'you know, I've never met someone's who's underage,'" according to the ruling.
Lebowitz then asked K.S. when his birthday was and told him "friendship is more important than getting off" and that he was looking for an athletic guy that "he could kinda mess around with."
"Lebowitz again asked K.S. if it was safe to meet because he did not 'want to get arrested or anything,'" the ruling state.
K.S. reassured him all was fine and Lebowitz asked him to bring his baseball uniform because he thought it was "really hot." Lebowitz also told K.S. that he thought men "were better than women at giving other men oral sexual stimulation, and that going out with younger guys was 'an adventure.'"
Lebowitz went to K.S.'s home on Nov. 2, 2006, where Coweta law enforcement was waiting and they found inside his vehicle a backpack filled with condoms and lube. A search warrant for Lebowitz' home was issued and there officers found a VHS tape labeled "XXX" that showed Lebowitz engaged in sex acts with other teenage males. Still photos from the video were also found to have been distributed over the internet.
Lebowitz was indicted by a grand jury on June 12, 2007, on two counts of producing child pornography and one count of enticing a child to engage in unlawful sexual activity. He went to trial and was found guilty and on July 12, 2010, Lebowitz was sentence to 320 months, or nearly 27 years, in prison.
And while Lebowitz's "lack of criminal history and admirable work as a paramedic and a doctor" is to be commended, it does not wipe out the child sex abuse he committed, the federal appeals court ruled. Not disclosing his HIV-status to the young males also contributed to the court upholding the district court's ruling and sentencing.
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