American Media Inc.
November 14, 2019
November 14, 2019 11:09 AM EST
Panelist Dr. Bruce Hensel discusses removing the stigma of mental illness at Museum Of Tolerance on February 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (John Sciulli/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
Bruce Hensel, a former NBC News medical correspondent, has been arrested for allegedly asking a 9-year-old girl for sexual photos.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, Dr. Bruce Hensel, 71, was charged this Wednesday, November 13, in the case. He was accused of contacting a minor for sexual purposes after he allegedly asked the underage daughter of a friend for inappropriate images this August, through an online app.
Hensel faces one felony count and if convicted, could serve up to 18 months in prison. His court date has not been announced.
The former correspondent — who joined NBC4 in 1987 and worked in both New York and Los Angeles — is now being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department. Police say the launched the investigation after learning Hensel had allegedly exchanged inappropriate messages and photos with the young girl.
Hensel’s home in the Pacific Palisades was searched on October 16, with detectives from the Internet Crimes Against Children unit leading the investigation. He was booked into the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Detention Center. His bail was set at $5,000.
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Though Hensel has not released a statement in relation to his case, his lawyer, Steve Sitkoff, told reporters that the arrest came as a shock to the team.
“We are cooperating fully with the authorities and we are looking forward to a speedy and complete exoneration,” Sitkoff told NBC4.
Megyn Kelly was let go from NBC for her controversial blackface comments, and two years after Matt Lauer was fired following multiple allegations of sexual assault.