FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward County doctor accused of sending sexually explicit texts and pictures to a teen has bonded out of jail.
Dr. Stewart Bitman made his first appearance before a judge Wednesday morning.READ MORE: Crestview Towers Residents Gather To Protest Lack Of Work Being Done To Repair The Property
He’s charged with three counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor and one count of solicitation of a minor.
During the hearing, the prosecutor said they were seeking a bond amount of $10,000 for each charge. The judge said that amount was too low and set the bond at $20,000 for each count.
Bitman’s attorney argued against the use of an ankle monitor, at one point calling Bitman a pillar of the community.
The judge said as a condition of his release, Bitman must surrender his passport. He is also not to have any contact with the alleged victim or any minors, and he cannot use any device with internet capabilities.
“That means, no emails, no letters, no phone calls, no social media, no asking anyone to check in on the alleged victim for you. Do you understand,” the judge told Bitman who replied he did.
The judge also ordered that cannot leave the tri-county area. He will not, however, have to wear an ankle monitor.
A search of his medical license says the 64-year-old has been a doctor in Florida for 30 years.
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Bitman, a physician at Gastro Health in Coral Springs, was arrested Tuesday morning after an investigation conducted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Coral Springs Police Department.
Detectives say that in early April, Bitman sent a number of sexual text messages and nude photos of himself to a 13-year-old girl.
Detectives say that Bitman portrayed himself as a teenage boy and knew he was communicating with a minor.
Bitman was taken into custody and numerous electronic devices were seized by police for further forensic analysis.
Detectives are working to see if there are additional victims with whom Bitman may have communicated.
Anyone with information regarding this case or anyone whose child may have been a victim of Bitman is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).
Gastro Health responded to Bitman’s arrest with the following statement:
“Dr. Bitman was terminated from our practice after we were informed of his arrest and related criminal charges. These charges were related to personal conduct that took place in his personal life. We are deeply troubled to hear of the charges and are concerned for the well-being of the minors who are affected.”MORE NEWS: Rise In School Fights Another Pandemic Casualty
Bitman’s arrest came two weeks after Broward sheriff’s deputies arrested Parkland pediatrician Dr. Michael Mizrachy on child porn charges.