An Emmy-winning former NBC medical correspondent has been accused of asking a nine-year-old girl for sexually explicit photos.
Authorities with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Juvenile Division arrested Dr. Bruce Hensel, 71, on Wednesday morning for allegedly asking the girl for sexually charged pictures, KABC reported.
Hensel was released from custody later in the day after posting $5,000 bond.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Hensel was charged with one felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes.
Hensel allegedly asked the daughter of an acquaintance for the images using a messaging app on or about August 4, according to Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson of the DA’s Cyber Crimes Division.
Hensel worked as a medical correspondent for KNBC for nearly three decades, and also held jobs as an on-air medical correspondent at NBC in New York and KCOP in Los Angeles.
If convicted on the charges, Hensel faces up to 18 months in state prison, according to prosecutors. His arraignment is scheduled to be at a later date, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hensel’s lawyer said the 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 NBC 4 Los Angeles.