By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
Palisadian Dr. Bruce Hensel, a former award-winning television medical correspondent in Los Angeles and New York, was arrested on Wednesday, November 13, for allegedly contacting a minor with intent to commit sexual acts. He was released on $5,000 bail the same day.
The Los Angeles Police Department Juvenile Division Investigators detained Hensel, 71, at 10:15 a.m. in the 9600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. Police took Hensel into custody and booked him at noon with bail set at $5,000.
Hensel was later released on bail at 6:35 p.m., according to sheriff’s inmate records.
A search warrant had been issued for Hensel’s Palisades residence on Tramonto Drive on October 16, according to CBS. The Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched Hensel’s home to look for “inappropriate messages and photographs” being shared “between a child and a person believed to be Bruce Hensel,” according to LAPD in the report.
The TV doctor is charged with one felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes, according to Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson of the Cyber Crime Division, shared the CBS report.
Hensel allegedly contacted the daughter of an acquaintance on August 4 using an online messaging app and asked her to send him suggestive pictures.
“Dr. Hensel is completely innocent of the charge,” said Hensel’s attorney Steve Sitkoff, according to City News Service. “We are cooperating with the authorities and look forward to a speedy and complete exoneration.”
If convicted, Hensel faces jail time up to 18 months, according to the DA’s office.
Hensel is a multiple Emmy Award-winning medical correspondent and documentary producer. He recently produced and directed a documentary for Showtime called “Beyond the Opposite Sex” about transgender relationships.
City News Service contributed to this report.