(ran PW, PS editions of Pasco Times)
A Spring Hill orthopedic surgeon was arrested on charges he had sexual contact with a 16-year-old Orlando girl and sent her pornographic images attached to e-mail messages.
Agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement took Dr. Adrian I. Medina, 40, into custody as he opened his clinic, Medina Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, for business at 8:30 a.m. Friday, said FDLE spokesman Geo Morales.
Authorities confiscated several computers from his office at 12210 Cortez Blvd. and his home in the Silverthorn subdivision, west of Brooksville. According to property records, Medina lives at 15189 Surrey Bend, a property he bought with Prema Medina in 2001.
Medina was later taken to Hernando County Jail and charged with sexual battery, 11 counts of transmitting pornography via a computer and using a computer to lure or entice a minor for sexual purposes, all felonies. Bail was set at $20,000.
By Friday evening, he remained in custody at the jail, awaiting his first appearance in front of a county judge, jail officials said. If convicted, Medina could face up to 30 years in prison on the sexual battery charges. Attorneys from the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orange County are handling the case.
Authorities began looking into the allegations that Medina had sexual contact with the teen three weeks ago after her mother discovered one of the e-mail messages, which contained sexually explicit material.
She then contacted FDLE's Computer Crime Center in Tallahassee, which forwarded the case and its evidence to the department's offices in Orlando, Morales said.
During the investigation, authorities learned that the victim's first contact with Medina occurred a year ago when the teen sent e-mail to three doctors seeking consultation for a sports injury she sustained.
"Two doctors e-mailed her back, one was Dr. Medina," Morales said Friday.
Medina maintained contact with the teen by e-mail and through instant messages.
"The contacts were innocent up until their meeting in September 2003," Morales added.
That is when authorities think Medina went to Orlando and committed the sexual battery.
Following the alleged incident, Medina continued to send the teen e-mail messages, including sexually explicit material, a release from FDLE stated.
Morales did not provide further details about the alleged incident. Medina had not treated the victim as a patient, Morales said.
On Friday, the doors of Medina's second-floor office were closed although an employee was inside. Reached by telephone, the woman refused to comment on Medina's arrest.
In 1986 Medina received his medical degree from St. John's Medical College and Hospital in Bangalore, India. He is affiliated with Oak Hill Hospital and Hernando Endoscopic Surgical Center, both in Spring Hill.
According to Medina's Web site, he has served as team physician for several high school, college and professional sports teams, including the Baltimore Orioles.
_ Duane Bourne can be reached at (352) 754-6114. Send e-mail to dbournesptimes.com.