Newport Beach doctor in child porn case barred from treating minors

A Newport Beach physician indicted on child porn charges has been barred from treating minors

A Newport Beach doctor will be barred from treating minors while he faces child pornography charges, a federal court has ruled.

Mark Rettenmaier, a gynecologic oncologist on staff at Hoag Hospital, allegedly had pornography on three portable hard drives, a laptop and his iPhone, according to a federal grand jury indictment filed in November.

The 62-year-old pleaded not guilty Dec. 1 to two felony charges of child pornography possession.

While he awaits trial, Rettenmaier is banned from interacting with children and will have his Internet access scrutinized, according to court documents detailing conditions for his release from detention.

In addition to requiring a $100,000 bond, the stipulations bar Rettenmaier from using the Internet anywhere other than certain computers at his home, office and Hoag Hospital.

Authorities will monitor Rettenmaier's home computer, and blocking software must be installed on computers he uses at work to prevent him from accessing illegal material, according to court documents.

Rettenmaier's lawyer has repeatedly asked for more time to provide proof that the software had been installed.

Information technology employees at the hospital have been "slow to respond" or refer the matter to corporate lawyers, according to a Dec. 11 court filing.

On Tuesday, Hoag's chief of staff, Dr. Martin J. Fee, said there is security software on Hoag's computers that meets the court's requirements.

When asked whether Rettenmaier is allowed to practice at the hospital's facilities while he faces the charges, Fee wrote in an email, "He is currently a member of Hoag's medical staff, and that has not changed."

The Internet must be blocked on Rettenmaier's iPhone or he will be required to turn it over to authorities, according to court documents.

He also is barred from contacting minors and must stay away from schools, parks, playgrounds and other places where children gather.

Rettenmaier's lawyer did not respond to a voicemail message left Monday.

A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 27.

jeremiah.dobruck2@latimes.com

Jeremiah Dobruck writes for Times Community News.

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