A Long Island cardiologist has pleaded guilty in an Internet sex sting in which he allegedly used links to an explicit video, dirty talk and a promise of Godiva chocolates to lure an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl to a sexual encounter.
Jose Poulose, 44, of Mineola, who practices in Williston Park, faces a likely sentence of 5 years' probation, a $5,000 fine, mandatory sex-offender registration and treatment, and restrictions on Internet access, according to the terms of a plea deal announced by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Poulose pleaded guilty Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Queens to the felony crime of first-degree attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor, but prosecutors and the doctor's lawyer disagreed on how to portray that crime. Prosecutors said he essentially admitted to trying to have sex with a 14-year-old in October 2007, using the screen name "pleasuremanforu" to instant message the undercover and setting up a meeting by phone.
"Once a predator believes he has found a vulnerable target, he can move with surprising speed - as this case frighteningly illustrates," Brown said. "In just three days, the defendant went from sending sexually explicit messages and material to a person he believed to be an underaged female to actually making physical contact with the person for the purpose of having sexual relations."
But defense lawyer Alan Abramson said the crime focused on transmitting explicit material, not underage sex, and there was no evidence his client would have engaged in sex if he realized his correspondent was actually 14 when he met her.
"Jose Poulose pled guilty to attempting to send inappropriate information over the Internet," he said. "He never intended to have a sexual relationship with anyone underage. He accepted responsibility for his actions and will receive a sentence of probation as recommended by the Queens district attorney's office."
Poulose's sentencing is set for Jan. 25. He also may face state review of his medical license and possible discipline.