Ex-doc convicted of gay sex with underage teen

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imageAn HIV-positive former emergency room doctor in Atlanta will spend at least 15 years in prison as a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Adam Lebowitz for having sex with a 15-year-old male and videotaping it.

Lebowitz, 50, was arrested in 2006 after a Coweta County woman called police after her 15-year-old son told her he had swapped sexually suggestive messages with the older man, who at the time was an emergency room physician at Grady Memorial Hospital and an Emory University medical resident. Lebowitz (photo) was arrested at the teen’s home with condoms, lube and a sleeping bag and intended to take him to his Decatur home, prosecutors said.

Investigators seized three computers during a search of Lebowitz’s home and two contained video recordings of him having sex with teenage boys. The FBI identified the teens and said they were underage when Lebowitz had sex with them. Steve Scarborough, a gay attorney who represented Lebowitz, questioned those assertions during the trial, which opened last week.

“If not for the diligence of a mother and her son, and the quick work of county and federal law enforcement, this doctor could still be preying upon young victims,” Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a written statement.

A sentencing date has not been set for Lebowitz. But he faces 15 years to life for one count of producing pornography and 10 years to life on a count of attempting to coerce a minor. The jury found him not guilty of another count of producing child pornography.

Lebowitz pleaded guilty to soliciting underage sex in 2007, but that plea and its 20-year prison sentence were thrown out after Lebowitz was caught trying to board a flight to Hawaii.

After his arrest, Lebowitz had his medical license suspended, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Composite State Board of Medical Examiners suspended Lebowitz’s medical license the day after his arrest in 2006. The board has the right to suspend a medical license if the holder has “committed a crime involving moral turpitude, without regard to conviction, ” according to the suspension order.

Lebowitz started his medical career later than usual. At 47, he was licensed as a doctor-in-training, and he never got enough experience to apply for a full medical license, the director of investigations at the medical board told the AJC. When that learner’s license was suspended, Lebowitz ceased to be a doctor in Georgia, investigator Jeffrey Lane said. He said felony convictions don’t necessary prohibit licensure. Should Lebowitz ever get out of prison, he could try to complete the licensing process, and the board would consider the extent to which his crime involved the practice of medicine.

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