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Doctor continues work after sex crime arrest

Dr. Lehel ''Lee'' Kadosa was the fifth person accused in a prostitution ring involving teenage girls.

By MELANIE AVE

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 2, 2001


TAMPA -- Dr. Lehel "Lee" Kadosa was back at work Thursday, treating patients at the back and pain institute he operates in north Tampa.

One day earlier, Kadosa, a 56-year-old orthopedic doctor, became the latest suspect in an ongoing Hillsborough sheriff's investigation of an alleged prostitution ring involving teenage girls, the Internet and a local attorney and his paralegal.

In all, five people have been charged.

Kadosa was arrested Wednesday morning at his Carrollwood Springs home at 15136 Springview St. and charged with performing a lewd and lascivious act in front of a child, a misdemeanor. He was released on $15,000 bond later that afternoon.

Kadosa declined comment through a receptionist at his office, the American Spine and Pain Rehabilitation Institute, 7208 N Sterling Ave.

Sheriff's officials say an underage girl was brought to Kadosa'a white stucco home and to his office on nine occasions beginning last year "for the purpose of prostitution and making money."

Despite his arrest, Kadosa can continue to practice medicine, said a spokesman with the state Department of Health. But if convicted, he must inform the licensing board, which would conduct an investigation to determine whether to suspend his license.

Records show Kadosa, a licensed Florida physician since 1983 who attended a Hungarian medical school, has been reprimanded twice by the Florida Board of Medicine in the past 10 years.

According to the records, the board fined Kadosa $3,500 and placed him on probation for 18 months in 1991 for prescribing anabolic steroids to a body-builder who wanted to win the title of Mr. Florida.

Two years ago, the records show, the board reprimanded Kadosa for recommending unnecessary and excessive treatment to a 51-year-old woman who had back and neck problems. He was fined $20,000, placed on a three-year probation and forbidden from practicing without "indirect supervision" of another licensed doctor.

Sheriff's officials have said the prostitution case began in January after deputies learned Shawn Robert Martin, a 24-year-old paralegal, was keeping a 13-year-old runaway at his apartment and placing pornographic pictures of her on the Internet. Martin, charged with 32 sex-related crimes, is being held on $210,500 bail.

Arrested along with Martin was his boss, Odessa attorney David Russell Stahl, 58, who authorities say paid Martin and Adonius Bailey, 23, so he could have sex with the 13-year-old girl.

Officials would not say Thursday how that case is connected to Kadosa's arrest because their investigation is continuing.

Detectives say Kadosa and Jessica P. Cortes, 19, had sex in front of a 15-year-old girl at Kadosa's home. Arrest reports said Cortes, a convicted prostitute, brought juveniles to Kadosa's home and to his office.

Cortes, who remains in jail, is charged with performing a lewd and lascivious act in front of a child, and nine counts of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution. On jail records, she listed Stahl as her attorney.

Kadosa's neighbors said they are disturbed by the arrests.

"It's horrible," said Carmen Almaguer, who has lived next door to Kadosa for 12 years. She said she never saw anything unusual. "It's kind of scary when you can't even trust your neighbors."

- Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Melanie Ave can be reached at (813) 226-3473 or melanie@sptimes.com.

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