- A pediatric dentist is facing child pornography possession and distribution charges
- A judge rules the dentist, who entered a not-guilty plea, can continue working
- A prosecutor says there's no evidence the dentist abused children or manufactured porn
- But the prosecutor had asked that the dentist have no contact with children under 18
A pediatric dentist charged with possession and distribution of child pornography can still treat children at his Framingham, Massachusetts, dental office under a judge's ruling, according to a news release from the Middlesex district attorney's office.
Melvin A. Ehrlich, 52, was arraigned Thursday in Framingham District Court on three counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography, according to the release.
Ehrlich, who was arrested Wednesday, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, according to Stephanie Chelf Guyotte, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
"While the case remains under development and investigation, there is currently no evidence that presently leads law enforcement to believe that Ehrlich physically abused any children or manufactured any images of child pornography," the news release said.
Ehrlich had sent his laptop computer to a service provider for maintenance work, according to the release. The service provider contacted Framingham police after observing downloaded images of child pornography on the computer, the release said.
Authorities immediately launched an investigation that they say revealed Ehrlich had used the laptop "under various user names to download and distribute commercially traded child pornography images," the release said.
The release stated that Framingham District Court Judge Robert Greco released Ehrlich on $10,000 cash bail with conditions to commit no new crimes and not to use a computer except at his place of business for work-related purposes only. The prosecutor had requested that Ehrlich have no further contact with children under 18 and that he be held on $25,000 cash bail.
Efforts by CNN to reach the judge Thursday were unsuccessful. Calls by CNN to Ehrlich's attorney were not immediately returned.
"Children are our most vulnerable victims," said Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone. "We will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent those who exploit them."
Ehrlich operates a business called Wee Care for Kids, according to the district attorney's office.
A website for Wee Care for Kids in Framingham features "'Dr. Mel' -- Melvin A. Ehrlich, D.D.S., P.C." and describes the practice as "Individualized Preventative Dental Care for Toddlers, Children, Adolescents and those with Special Needs."
A page titled "A Personal Welcome from Dr. Ehrlich" says that he chose a career in pediatric dentistry because "I love being around children. They're so honest, humorous and fun. I find it very refreshing and wouldn't give it up for anything."
Ehrlich is expected to appear in court on February 11 for a pre-trial conference.