On Monday, a former NBC medical correspondent, Bruce Hensel, 74, entered a no contest plea for soliciting nude photos from a 9-year-old girl in 2019.
He received two years of probation and had to register as a sex offender immediately under a plea agreement with Los Angeles prosecutors.
Hensel initially worked as the top TV doctor at WNBC in New York before moving to KNBC in Los Angeles, where he spent decades and won 11 Emmy Awards.
In November 2019, he was arrested in Southern California and charged with one felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes.
Based on court documents, Bruce Hensel was reported to have sent several messages to the 9-year-old daughter of a friend from March to August of 2019, inquiring repeatedly for “sexy and private” pictures.
“[We] have always been good special friends and you feel safe with me, so I will protect you and get you something,” Hensel wrote in one message, before discussing a potential movie for the girl to star in. “They could maybe make you a star if you are willing to take some risks.”
During his court appearance on Monday, Bruce Hensel expressed remorse and apologized to the victim’s father, stating that he was “terribly sorry for what happened,” as per the Los Angeles Times.
The original charge against Hensel carried a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison. However, in a plea deal, he pleaded no contest to one count of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a crime.
According to the LA Times, Hensel’s legal team and prosecutors in Los Angeles had negotiated the plea deal over several months.