SANTA CRUZ (AP) — A 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.
Kohut was hired by Sparks (a.k.a Baptist Health) in Fort Smith in 2017 and was fired a week after when he was arrested in California.