Police say Bay Area child sex case involves 7 victims, ages 3 to 13

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Watsonville police released disturbing new details Thursday about a child sex investigation in Santa Cruz County. (KGO-TV)

Watsonville police released disturbing new details Thursday about a police investigation in Santa Cruz County. Police say seven children were victimized by a doctor and two nurses, the youngest just 3 years old.

Police are confirming that the doctor and nurses were having sex with children in Santa Cruz County. One of the incidents reported occurred in a hotel in Scotts Valley.

RELATED: Santa Cruz County doctor faces 10 child molestation charges, 2 women charged

They say the doctor and two nurses committed horrific acts against seven young children, all sexual in nature. Last week, a person came to them with information about the crime that led to a video.

"It's very complex, it's very disturbing. Just in watching the videos, I can just tell you it was very disturbing. I have not seen a case like this in my career," Watsonville Police Capt. Jorge Zamora said.



Police provided a booking photo of 29-year-old Emily Stephens as one of the three suspects charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and other specific sex acts with a child under 10. They say she is a traveling nurse from Tucson, Arizona.

Investigators won't say how she knew Dr. James Kohut from Santa Cruz and Rashel Brandon from Watsonville, who are also charged in the case.

"Based on the evidence at this time, we believe that these individuals were working together," Watsonville Police Chief David Honda said. "We also believe that we have all suspects associated with this case in custody at this time."

Police say the victims ranged in age from 3 to 13 years old. All are now in protective custody.

Kohut and Brandon worked at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. On Brandon's Facebook page, she wrote, "I'm a mom and a nurse. Love my friends and family."

Her neighbors are shaken. "Everybody in the neighborhood is just in shock and scared for their own children, and we're just horrified," neighbor Katalina Hoehn said.

Police are still investigating and are working with the FBI because the crimes committed did cross state lines. Detectives are asking anyone who may be a witness or a victim in this case to please come forward.

Related Topics:
child sex assaultsexual assaultcrimedoctor arrestedsanta cruz countysex crimesex crimesWatsonvilleSanta CruzArizona
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