Photo: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office
This article was originally published on KSBW.com.
On Sunday the Santa Cruz County Coroner’s office reported former neurosurgeon and accused child molester, James Kohut, was found dead in his cell at the Santa Cruz County Jail on Water Street.
Correctional Officers found Kohut alone in his cell when breakfast service began at 5:45 a.m.
Kohut did not share a cell with any other inmates and was in a protective housing unit.
The Coroner’s Division, detectives and crime scene investigators are conducting a death investigation to determine the cause and manner of death.
An autopsy will be performed later this week, but an early assessment by the forensic pathologist indicates Kohut likely took his own life.
Kohut and the two nurses were arrested in 2017 on suspicion of running a child-sex ring after Watsonville police officers said they found sex videos implicating all three
The videos were taken on Jan. 1 and May 9, 2017 and show the defendants raping 3- year-old and 10-year-old boys multiple times, according to court documents.
The neurosurgeon, who worked at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz at the time of his arrest, allegedly had affairs with Brandon, Stephens, and more mothers. Children were sexually abused during some of their encounters, according to an arrest warrant served by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Stephens’ house in Arizona.
Prosecutors said Kohut preyed on children for two decades, and none of the crimes happened at medical facilities.
The state medical board revoked Kohut’s license June 1, 2017.