A Missouri doctor is accused of impregnating a teenager he'd hired to babysit his children and allegedly planned to marry. The mother of the 16-year-old was aware the two were "dating."
St. Louis University Hospital Dr. Ashu Joshi says he met the teen girl from Kentucky through her mother, who had been his patient, according to a court transcript regarding child pornography charges related to the case that was made public on Nov. 15. The teenager, who remains unnamed in reports as she is a minor, began conversing with Joshi about her interest in becoming a doctor. The two allegedly began having sexual encounters after Joshi hired her as a babysitter.
In his testimony, Sgt. Adam Kavanaugh of the St. Louis County Special Investigations Unit said the teen told police Joshi was the father of her unborn child and that he'd asked to marry her.
Kavanaugh said that police became aware of their relationship after Joshi and the girl allegedly exchanged hundreds of images and videos of each other on Facebook messenger, some of which were pornographic, as well as messages that discussed their sexual relationship and planned marriage.
Kavanaugh added that he was aware of at least two alleged incidents in which the couple engaged in sexual intercourse at Joshi's home in St. Louis County, Missouri.
Although the teenager's mother claimed she was aware the two were romantically involved, she said she did not want them engaging in a sexual relationship, according to a report from the St. Louis Dispatch.
Joshi had appeared in court on Oct. 11 after being arrested on charges of production of child pornography and pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, John Schleiffarth, defended his client on the basis of his reputation as a "respected physician and member of the community.”
“He looks forward to vindicating his good name,” Schleiffarth said, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.
Joshi, who has been suspended from his job at St. Louis University Hospital, was released from jail on Nov. 15 after paying $10,000 bail. The release was conditional upon not contacting the teen.
The age of consent had recently been changed from 16 to 17 in the state in Kentucky, according to Kentucky legislative records. However, according to House Bill 101, which was signed into law by the governor in March, a 16- or 17-year-old is considered “incapable of consent,” when the offender is 28 years of age or older. In Missouri, the age of consent is 17, according to the Missouri Family Health Council. However, 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds cannot legally consent to sex with a person more than four years older.
[Photo: St. Louis Police]
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