Dr. Bruce Hensel, an Emmy-winning former television medical
correspondent in Los Angeles and New York City, was arrested
Wednesday for allegedly asking a 9-year-old girl to send him
sexually suggestive photos.
Hensel, 71, was detained about 10:15 a.m. by Los Angeles Police
Department Juvenile Division investigators in the 9600 block of
Santa Monica Boulevard, near Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills,
according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Jail records
show Hensel was booked around noon, with his bail set at $5,000.
Hensel posted bail and was released at 6:35 p.m., according to
sheriff’s inmate records.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Hensel was charged
Wednesday with one felony count of contact with a minor for
sexual purposes. Prosecutors said Hensel allegedly contacted the
girl — the daughter of an acquaintance — on Aug. 4 using an
online messaging app and asked her to send him suggestive photos.
An arraignment date has not been set.
“Dr. Hensel is completely innocent of the charge,” said Hensel’s
attorney Steve Sitkoff. “We are cooperating with the authorities
and look forward to a speedy and complete exoneration.”
LAPD officials said investigators with the Los Angeles Regional
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force served a search
warrant at Hensel’s Pacific Palisades home on Oct. 16. Police
said the investigation focused on “inappropriate messages and
photographs” being shared “between a child and a person believed
to be Bruce Hensel.”
If convicted as charged, Hensel faces up to 18 months in prison,
according to the District Attorney’s Office.
According to an online biography, Hensel won multiple Emmy
Awards while serving as chief medical correspondent for NBC4. He
recently produced and directed a documentary for the premium
cable network Showtime titled “Beyond the Opposite Sex,” focused
on transgender relationships.