Houston famously is the home of one of Michael Jackson's doctors; could it also be the home of a doctor who's like Michael Jackson? (Note: Throw a half-dozen or so "allegedly"s into that sentence.)
Prosecutors have charged Bernard Albina, a 69-year-old orthopedic surgeon, with sexually abusing at least four boys ages four to six, the Chronicle is reporting.
Albina spent up to $250,000 on his "hobby," prosecutors say, spending the cash "to develop close relationships with his victims' families to get access to the children, including the purchase of houses where he them live for free."
Albina is listed as being affiliated with the St. Joseph Medical Center; he also shows up as sponsoring an event by the Virtuosii of Houston , which describes itself as "a youth chamber orchestra for gifted instrumentalists ages 11 to 18."
We've got a call in to Eric Devlin, the chief of the child exploitation office of the DA's office. He told the Chron that investigators had found "hundreds of hours of videotape" of what the paper called "Albina with children."
He formally was charged with five counts of sexual abuse, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault of a child and promotion of child pornography, the paper said.
Update: We've talked to Devlin, and he described Albina as "a very patient predator."
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"He really groomed these kids and wormed his way into their families," he says.
Devlin said he'd take them to karate practice, say, or to school -- the parents would just think of him as "good ol' Uncle Bernie" and are "horrified."
Only four specific cases are filed against Albina, but "we think there are probably a whole lot more" victims, Devlin said.
Albina was arrested at 5 a.m. this morning; he hasn't yet been arraigned.