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Former top JPS doctor sentenced for child pornography

DALLAS -- A former top doctor at John Peter Smith Hospital was sentenced on child pornography charges Tuesday in federal court in Dallas.

James Young-Jin Shin must serve 42 months in prison for downloading pictures and videos that included depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He was ordered to report to prison on Jan. 7.He was also fined $25,000 and may be deported when he is released from prison, authorities say.

In September 2007, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent acting on a lead from the agency's cyber-crimes unit in Washington D.C., went to Shin's Southlake home, according to court documents. Shin allowed agents to inspect his computer and admitted having the illegal materials, the documents state. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography in July.

Shin, a native of Korea, began working at JPS in January 1998 and became chairman of the internal medicine department in October 2005. He resigned his post in May, said Jamie Brown, a spokeswoman for JPS Health Network. Shin was never cited for quality-of-care issues at JPS, Brown said.

Shin stands to lose his medical license, though no action had been taken against him as of Monday, according to a Texas Medical Board spokeswoman.

The board cooperates with law enforcement agencies in investigations of doctors but generally waits to take disciplinary action until criminal proceedings have played out in court, spokeswoman Jill Wiggins said. She declined to say whether there is an open investigation in Shin's case.

The medical board has the authority to revoke a license when a doctor is convicted of a felony, Wiggins said. In some cases, a revocation can be stayed, but that is unlikely when the situation involves an aspect of sexual misconduct, she said.

Accusations of sexual crimes are a small percentage of the complaints the medical board hears, but tend to be high profile, Wiggins said.

"It's not very often, but when it happens it's usually so egregious that it tends to get a lot of attention."

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