FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A judge set bond at $80,000 for a Broward County doctor arrested on charges related to sexual communications with a minor.
Stewart Bitman was released from jail around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Per the judge’s ruling, Bitman cannot use the internet, contact minors, or leave South Florida. He also must surrender his passport.
Bitman has also been fired from his gastroenterologist job in Coral Springs.
The 64-year-old Bitman made his first court appearance Wednesday morning, a day after he was arrested at his Parkland home.
The Broward Sheriffs Office Internet Crimes Against Children task force says ha posed as a 17-year-old boy and sent naked photos of himself to a 13-year-old girl, while knowing he was communicating with a minor. Detectives say he also posed as a teenage boy to try to do the same thing to more teens.
A warrant obtained by Local 10 News accuses Bitman of sending naked photos of himself sitting at a desk. The text messages also allegedly ask the teen to perform sex acts on him.
Bitman worked at Gastro Health (formerly Digestive Care of North Broward), located in Coral Springs. The business says it let him go after learning of his arrest.
“Dr. Bitman was terminated from our practice after we were informed of his arrest and related criminal charges,” the business said in a statement. “These charges were related to personal conduct that took place in his personal life. We are deeply troubled to hear of the charges and are concerned for the well-being of the minors who are affected.”
Neighbors we spoke to in Parkland expressed shock and disgust upon learning of the accusations against Bitman.
“Everybody that has children can appreciate that people like this have no reason for being in society,” one neighbor said. “I have children, and the strange thing with him is he has two daughters and a son so it really baffles you.”
Bitman’s arrest came two weeks after a Broward pediatrician, Dr. Michael Mizrachy, was arrested on child pornography charges.
Investigators are working to determine if there are more victims.
Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding Bitman’s case or anyone whose child may have been a victim of Bitman’s to contact BSO ICAC Detective Jennifer Montgomery at 954-888-5290. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 or online at browardcrimestoppers.org.