An HIV-infected physician who admitted to sexually abusing children was tracked down with the help of a boy who nearly fell prey to the doctor's advances.
The physician, Dr. Adam Lebowitz, a former emergency room doctor at Emory University's Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, pleaded guilty in federal court in Atlanta Thursday to sexually abusing two boys.
Lebowitz "sickens me … I'm glad I turned him in," the boy told ABC News affiliate WSBTV after the physician entered his plea.
Lebowitz admitted to enticing boys on the Internet, and filming his sexual abuse of the boys on two occasions. He then sent the images over the Internet.
Lebowitz's abuses could extend beyond the two boys he victimized. According to law enforcement officials, investigators recovered a logbook from his residence with about 100 names and screen names of children which they say he had victimized or had intended to sexually abuse.
U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Thursday, "This is one of the more egregious cases of child abuse we have seen."
Lebowitz pleaded guilty to child exploitation, producing child pornography and enticement. He was suspended from his work after his November 2006 arrest.
According to court documents, Lebowitz began his abuse of his first victim back in 2003, after communicating with the boy, who lived in Massachusetts. Once the boy turned 16 years old, Lebowitz enticed him and then filmed himself sexually abusing his victim.
Lebowitz did this again with another victim who had lived in Georgia in 2006. Lebowitz had met the boys on the social networking site Myspace.com.
According to law enforcement officials, Lebowitz allegedly e-mailed numerous images of himself abusing the boys to multiple people. Lebowitz was arrested after he began communicating with the third boy in Georgia. That boy notified his parents and authorities of his interaction with Lebowitz.
"He had planned to engage in the same conduct with a Coweta County [Georgia] child. Thankfully, that boy alerted law enforcement and allowed us to lock up this defendant before he could abuse anyone else. He will now remain in prison for many years," Nahmias said.
The plea agreement also addresses Lebowitz's HIV-positive status, saying, "The government will inform the parents of victims who are minors, including victims of uncharged conduct, and adults known to the government who have engaged in sexual activity with the defendant, that the defendant is HIV-positive."
"The defendant waives his right to privacy regarding this medical condition and will not bring any claim based on the Government's disclosure of information about his illness."
The Justice Department, local law enforcement and health authorities will now attempt to contact those who may have been exposed to the HIV- infected doctor. As part of the plea agreement, Lebowitz is likely to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.