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Ex-Homeland Security aide freed on bail

Official to return to Maryland after hearing on child sex charges

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Department of Homeland Security

BARTOW, Florida (CNN) -- Former Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle was released on bond Thursday from a Florida jail.

Doyle's bail was set after he appeared in court to face charges of soliciting a minor for sex over the Internet.

Circuit Judge Dale Durrance set Doyle's bail at $230,000 and scheduled an arraignment for May 23. Doyle, 56, arrived Wednesday at the Polk County Jail in Bartow, Florida, after waiving extradition from Maryland.

Defense attorney Barry Helfand said Doyle will return to his home in Maryland to be examined by two psychiatrists who specialize in sexual dysfunctions.

Helfand said Doyle remains "very depressed" since his April 4 arrest at his Silver Spring, Maryland, home as he allegedly communicated with a Polk County detective posing on the Internet as a 14-year-old girl. (Full story)

The detective, Sandy Scherer, testified during Thursday's hearing that authorities moved quickly on arresting Doyle because of his position and high security clearance. She also said that Doyle indicated he had spoken to other young girls on the Internet.

Doyle thanked the judge and prosecutors for his release, telling reporters, "I appreciate their understanding and their guidance." He declined to comment on the charges.

Durrance ordered Doyle to turn over his passport and have no contact with anyone under 18 while free on bail.

"He has no intention to go anywhere but to face up to what has happened," Helfand said.

The former deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security is charged with seven counts of use of a computer to seduce a child and 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. His bail was set at $10,000 on each count.

Investigators accuse Doyle, who resigned from the department after his arrest, of engaging in sexually explicit conversations online and sending pornographic movie clips to the person he thought was a 14-year-old.

Before Thursday's hearing, Helfand said he wants to have Doyle examined by two mental health experts, including Fred Berlin, a founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland.

"I want to find out if there's a problem, what is the problem, and if it's treatable," Helfand said. "It's that simple."

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