Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has terminated its director of the Division of Artificial Intelligence Medicine after the employee was recently charged with felony distribution of obscene matter and possession of child pornography.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on July 31 that Guido Germano, 59, was charged with one count each of distribution of obscene matter and possession of child or youth pornography. Germano, of Santa Monica, was released on $20,000 bail.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records indicate Germano was arrested on June 19 in Santa Monica. He is accused of distributing child pornography videos using peer-to-peer software and downloading them onto his personal computer at home, according to Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson, of the Cyber Crime Division.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center issued a statement that said the hospital was unaware of the case involving Germano until the District Attorney’s Office issued a press release about the charges.
“On Wednesday, July 31, we learned from a news release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office that it had charged Guido Germano, Ph.D., with distributing and possessing child pornography. We also learned from the District Attorney’s news release that Germano had been arrested on June 19 and was released on bond,” the statement read. “Germano, who had been employed at Cedars-Sinai, did not report the arrest or subsequent charges to the organization. Upon learning this information, Cedars-Sinai took immediate action and terminated Germano’s employment as of Aug. 1. Germano was a specialist in scientific computing and did not have any contact with patients.”
The Cedars-Sinai statement also said the hospital is cooperating with authorities on “any law enforcement action stemming from this matter.”
“We are committed to protecting the integrity of our employees and the organization,” the statement read.
The hospital deleted Germano’s biography from its website. It is unclear how long he worked at Cedars-Sinai or what his job responsibilities were.
Germano appeared in court on Aug. 1 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. A judge imposed bond conditions of no internet use unless a device equipped with accountability software is used, and no unsupervised time with children, said District Attorney’s Office spokesman Paul Eakins.
Germano faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 29, in Dept. 37 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
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