Longtime NBC4 Medical Correspondent Arrested After Allegedly Asking 9-Year-Old to Sext Him

Longtime NBC4 Medical Correspondent Arrested After Allegedly Asking 9-Year-Old to Sext Him

Dr. Bruce Hensel, a former NBC4 medical correspondent, was arrested in connection with allegedly contacting a 9-year-old girl for sexual purposes.

He was taken into custody on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. on suspicion of contact with a minor for purpose of a sexual act, which is a felony, a Los Angeles Police Department public information officer confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday.

He was released on bond Wednesday at 6:35 p.m., and his bail was set at $5,000.

Hensel, 71, was charged with requesting the sexually suggestive images from the daughter of an acquaintance through a messaging app around Aug. 4, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

He faces one felony count of contact with minor for sexual purposes. If found guilty, Hensel faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in state prison. His arraignment will be scheduled at a later date.

Officials told NBC4 that a search warrant was served at Hensel’s Pacific Palisades home on Oct. 16 by investigators with the L.A. Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“We are cooperating fully with the authorities and we are looking forward to a speedy and complete exoneration,” Hensel’s attorney Steve Sitkoff said in a statement obtained by NBC4.

Hensel joined NBC4 in 1987 and worked as the chief health, medical and science editor and on-air correspondent for the station, according to the outlet. A rep for NBC4 had no comment.

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