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Ex-UVa neurologist released 2 days after child porn sentencing

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A former University of Virginia doctor who pleaded guilty to transmitting child pornography got his jail sentence on Tuesday and his freedom on Thursday.

“He was released an hour ago,” Col. Martin Kumer said Thursday afternoon when asked if David Ari Lapides, 38, was still incarcerated at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Kumer, the jail’s superintendent, said Lapides had been there since July 22, 2021, the day of his arrest.

Lapides pleaded guilty in January to two counts of receiving or transmitting child pornography. He was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for each count, with five years of probation. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, meaning that he effectively received a 10-year sentence with all but a year and two months suspended, the time which he was in jail.

“It’s a serious and significant sentence,” said Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania, who prosecuted the case. “It’s more than double the high end of the guidelines. And he lost his career, his wife and his children; and he’ll have to register as a sex offender.”

Previous reporting indicated that the Kik messaging application, which is known for its privacy, detected two videos allegedly shared by Lapides that might contain depictions of sexually exploited minors and then notified authorities.

The case was picked up by a regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in coordination with the Charlottesville Police Department.

The videos allegedly depict prepubescent girls engaged in sexually exploitative positions, according to a prior report.

That sharing led to the distribution charges and may have ended his career as a neurologist reportedly licensed to practice medicine in 29 states.

His court file is filled with requests from numerous state medical boards asking for records from Charlottesville. That includes the board in Richmond.

“You are hereby given notice that your license to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia has been mandatorily suspended,” said the March 18 notice from the Department of Health Professions.

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