SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A Santa Cruz nurse and neurosurgeon were arrested by the Watsonville Police Department on suspicion of sexually abusing children, including a victim who is less than 10 years old.
James Kohut, 57, was a longtime neurosurgeon in Santa Cruz at Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center, as well as Dominican Hospital.
He was arrested Sunday on suspicion of oral copulation with a minor, and forcing lewd acts on a minor. Kohut was arrested at his house on 4th Avenue in Santa Cruz, and was booked into jail without chance of bail.
…Kohut’s career has a few black eyes. He was disciplined and sanctioned in 2006 by the state medical board for “quality care issues,” according to state records.
One of those “issues” was that Kohut was caught downloading and viewing pornography while at work, according to the state board. He was employed as a neurosurgeon at University Medical Center at the time.
“(Kohut) viewed adult pornographic web sites and downloaded pornography during work hours on UMC computers during the the period of 2002 through Feb. 2003,” the state board wrote.
A second cause for discipline was a botched brain surgery Kohut performed in 2002, according to the board. An x-ray showed that a 36-year-old man had an aneurysm on the left side of his head, and Kohut erroneously attempted to surgically remove the aneurysm on the right side.
Kohut left Palo Alto Medical Foundation last year to take a job with Sparks Health System in Arkansas. An open house meet-and-greet with Kohut at Sparks Orthopedic and Spine Unit was scheduled for June 9.
A press release was issued by Sparks Health System spokeswoman Alicia Agent on May 10 — just four days before he was arrested in Santa Cruz — announcing Kohut’s arrival.
“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Kohut and his wife Karen to Sparks. As many of you know, he will provide a much needed service to this area. As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Kohut provides treatment for patients suffering from neck, back, arm or sciatic nerve pain,” Agent wrote.
“I had the pleasure of interviewing our new neurosurgeon a couple weeks ago and he left me with some great advice: ‘Always take the dreams of children seriously, because sometimes they come true,'” Agent wrote.