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Week in review

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 4, 2001

CARROLLWOOD DOCTOR TREATING PATIENTS AFTER ARREST: Dr. Lehel "Lee" Kadosa was back at work Thursday, treating patients at his back and pain institute 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 an Odessa attorney and his paralegal. 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. He declined to 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's home and 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. Records show the board fined Kadosa $3,500 and placed him on probation for 18 months in 1991 for prescribing anabolic steroids to a body builder. Two years ago, 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, was placed on a three-year probation and was forbidden from practicing without "indirect supervision" of a 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 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 how that case is connected to Kadosa's arrest. 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 office.

TOUGH PENALTIES FOR BOMB THREATS: Reacting to a surge in bomb threats, Hillsborough school Superintendent Earl Lennard announced Wednesday that he wants the offenders expelled from the system for up to two years. "The students will be remanded back to the custody of their parents," said Superintendent Earl Lennard in a sternly worded statement at a news conference.

Students now caught making bomb threats face felony criminal charges and usually are sent to alternative schools. That's not sufficient, Lennard said. "We do not want these youngsters in our alternative schools either."

Lennard will ask the School Board to approve his proposal for harsher punishment. The district also should seek restitution for damages associated with bomb threats, he said. "We're not going to take this lightly," said Tampa police Deputy Chief Tina Wright. "It's not a prank, folks. It's a felony."

At least 20 bomb threats have been reported since Feb. 20, resulting in about a dozen arrests. Lennard's announcement came one day after a small explosion at Jefferson High School. A homemade device -- apparently a soda bottle filled with chemicals -- caused no injuries and little damage, but rattled the nerves of students, parents and administrators.

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