Doctor pleads guilty to child porn charges involving teen
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County doctor pleaded guilty to child pornography charges involving a teenager who he impregnated and claimed to have married.
Dr. Ashu Joshi pleaded guilty Wednesday to distributing child pornography. The plea deal calls for him to be sentenced to eight years in prison and pay $800,000 to the teenager, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Joshi, 48, admitted sending and receiving pornographic pictures of the girl, who was 16 at the time.
He said he and the girl married in a private Hindu ceremony in a hotel in Kentucky, three weeks before Kentucky changed its marriage laws. A Kentucky judge formalized the marriage last year.
Prosecutors and investigators have long argued that the marriage was a sham.
Joshi’s attorneys argued he couldn’t be prosecuted for the pornographic images because they were photos of his wife. The girl, now 18, said in December 2019 that she wanted charges against Joshi dropped.
Joshi was working at St. Louis University Hospital when he was arrested in 2018. His medical license has since been suspended.
In December, Joshi rejected a plea deal that could have sent him to prison for five years.
Joshi and the girl have a son who was born in April 2019.