Broward doctor to be charged with child-porn offense in federal instead of state court

Jay Weaver
·2 min read

A Broward County pediatrician who was arrested last month on child pornography charges will be facing federal instead of state offenses, authorities said.

Dr. Michael Mizrachy, a Parkland resident, was arrested Friday morning by federal Homeland Security Investigations agents as he was making an appearance for his state case in Broward Circuit Court on charges of two counts of possession of sexual performance by a child and one count of using a computer to solicit a child to commit an illegal act.

Mizrachy, 49, pleaded not guilty and posted a $30,000 bond. He was released from the Broward Sheriff’s Office main jail in Fort Lauderdale. Now, the state charges will be dropped as Mizrachy faces the same allegations at his first appearance in federal court, according to authorities. Punishment for federal child-porn offenses carry longer prison sentences than similar state charges.

His defense attorney, Richard Merlino, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The investigation began last summer when the Broward Sheriff’s Office received a tip that led detectives to Mizrachy, who has been a licensed physician for 20 years. The tip enabled them to get a search warrant by the end of June for his Yahoo email account.

Detectives with the department’s Internet Crimes Against Children found a video in the account showing child pornography, which was described in the tip. The video, BSO said, involved a man raping an 8- to 10-year-old child.

Detectives also found several photos that showed “what appear to be young children in their bathing suits, underwear or shorts in which none of the children appear to be aware the photos were being taken,” BSO said in a news release. According to Mizrachy’s BSO arrest affidavit, the pictures appeared to have been taken on his iPhone.

BSO said the photographs allowed detectives to get an additional search warrant in October for Mizrachy’s home in Parkland.

Mizrachy, according to the affidavit, told detectives that the email they searched was his and he has it as a “hidden secret.”

During the search, detectives found that Mizrachy used Kik, a messaging app that often shows up in child pornography cases, to chat with a 15-year-old at the time.

“The chats included sexually explicit photographs that were shared from the child,” BSO said in the release.

Florida Department of Health records show Mizrachy has worked in Broward Health Medical Center, Plantation General Hospital and Memorial Hospital West. The primary practice address on his license was his Parkland home.

His professional address that came up in a Google search was that of West Broward Pediatrics’ Plantation office. “We are shocked and deeply disturbed by these accusations,” an emailed statement from West Broward Pediatrics said after his arrest last month.