Santa Cruz brain surgeon charged with child sex crimes found dead in cell

Bay Area
Dr. James Kohut_557521

(AP) — A Northern California neurosurgeon awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused children has been found dead in his jail cell.

​The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office says James Kohut was found alone in his cell Sunday morning.

​​Medical examiners are investigating the cause and manner of death, but authorities say a preliminary autopsy indicates Kohut likely took his own life.

Authorities said he did not share a cell with other inmates and was held in a protective housing unit.​​

Kohut has been held since May 2017 when he and two women were arrested on suspicion of running a child-sex ring.

Watsonville police said they received video images implicating all three.​​

A month later, the state medical board revoked Kohut’s medical license.

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