Santa Rosa doctor gets a year in jail for sexting with 13-year-old girl

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. —

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A Santa Rosa orthopedic surgeon was sentenced in Marin County Superior Court Wednesday to a year in jail and five years probation for arranging to meet a 13-year-old girl to commit lewd acts.

Raymond Severt, 54, sent dozens of messages to the girl in an online chat room for adults over two days in February 2013

He was convicted by a jury of attempting lewd acts with child under 14, sending harmful matter with the intent of seducing a minor, contacting a minor for lewd purposes, arranging to meet a minor to engage in lewd acts and misdemeanor child molesting.

Severt’s attorney, Stephen Turer, claimed the girl misrepresented her age, initially stating she was 21 years old then stating she was 17, 15 and 13. Turer said the online chat room specified it was for adults over age 18.

The girl testified she enjoyed sexting a man who thought she was a woman, Turer said.

“She intended to mislead him,” Turer said.

The prosecution argued Severt should have stopped texting the girl when she said she was a minor.

The girl’s mother read the texts, took the phone and communicated with Severt as if she were her daughter. A meeting to meet was arranged and Severt was arrested by Novato police when he went to meet the girl in Novato on Feb. 11, 2013.

Severt was sentenced to the year in jail for arranging the meeting with a minor for purposes of lewd behavior. Judge Kelly Simmons stayed the remaining four counts.

Severt faced eight years in prison, but the prosecution asked Simmons to sentence Severt to four years. The probation department recommended 18 months in jail, Turer said.

“I can’t argue that the sentence was wrong or too harsh. She did the right thing, her reasoning was sound,” Turer said about the sentence.

Simmons agreed with the prosecution that Severt should have realized he was not communicating to an adult, Turer said.

Severt has credit for 124 days in jail.

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