- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 2, 2021

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A federal judge called a South Florida pediatrician a “danger” to the community and ordered that he must remain in jail until his trial on possession of child pornography.

Michael Mizrachy, 49, was charged in federal court on Friday and could face up to 20 years in prison. He was originally arrested Jan. 12 on identical state charges and had been free on a $30,000 bond.

Prosecutors allege that Mizrachy used an email account to keep a video showing a naked 5 or 6-year-old girl getting abused by a man. Investigators using search warrants also found photographs of young children and teens in their underwear, taken without their knowledge, on the doctor’s iPhone and computer.

During a hearing on Monday, United States Magistrate Judge Alicia O. Valle refused to grant bond for Mizrachy. His arraignment is scheduled for March 12.

State Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, whose 4-year-old twins were former patients of Mizrachy, sent a letter to Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, asking him to immediately suspend the pediatrician’s medical license.

Book noted that despite being charged with child porn in state court, Mizrachy has been able to hold himself out as a doctor. attempting to practice telemedicine and have virtual visits with children while his case is pending.

“Mizrachy’s deviant predilections and illegal actions pose a unique and targeted threat to the children of Broward County as well as children in 66 other counties of our state,” Book wrote. She is is founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit aimed at preventing child sexual abuse.

Investigators began looking at Mizrachy in June after the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip. The task force got a search warrant that let them search his Yahoo email account, where they found a video that showed a man raping a young girl, the original arrest report in January said.

The same allegations are in the federal complaint, which was unsealed on Monday.

Investigators searched Mizrachy‘s home in Parkland on Oct. 20. He told investigators that his Yahoo account was his “hidden secret,” the report said.

During the Oct. 20 interview with detectives, Mizrachy “admitted to being sexually excited by the photographs and admitted to being sexually attracted to children as young as 13 years old,” Homeland Security Special Agent Eric Stowers wrote in the federal complaint.

Mizrachy is represented by Richard Merlino, who told news outlets last month that his client “has been and remains eager to defend himself against these charges.”

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