A former orthopedic surgeon from Orinda was sentenced in federal court in San Francisco on Sept. 5, to seven years in prison for transporting child pornography while returning from a trip to Thailand in 2016.
John D. Warbritton III, 64, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.
Warbritton pleaded guilty before Breyer in May to transporting child pornography images on his laptop and his cell phone when he flew from Bangkok to San Francisco International Airport on March 27, 2016.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Abraham Simmons said Warbritton acknowledged in his plea agreement that the devices contained between 150 and 300 images of child pornography and that some of them showed adult men sexually assaulting young girls under the age of 12.
Warbritton, who had an office in Oakland, lost his medical license last year when he agreed to give it up in the wake of sexual misconduct charges by the Medical Board of California.
The board charged that he sexually touched two women patients and made inappropriate sexual comments to them at various times during medical evaluations for workplace injuries between 2008 and 2015.
Warbritton was conducting the evaluations for an insurance company and the patients were required to see him as part of their applications for workers’ compensation.
In the May 3, 2017, stipulation to surrender his license, Warbritton agreed that if the board had held a hearing, the board “could establish a factual basis for the charges in the accusation and that those charges constitute cause for discipline.”
Warbritton was indicted on the child pornography count by a federal grand jury in San Francisco in October 2017.
He was initially released on bail but was ordered into custody by a federal magistrate in January after a pretrial services officer found that he violated his release conditions by having child pornography images on his smartphone that showed Asian girls and toddlers being sexually assaulted.
Defense attorney Edward Robinson said in a sentencing brief that opiate and alcohol addiction contributed to Warbritton’s pornography crime.
He said the former doctor has “genuine remorse.”
Prosecutors argued in a brief that “opiates do not lead someone to look at child pornography” and contended, “nothing in the defendant’s past justifies or mitigates his conduct here.”
Warbritton graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1980 and had his residency training at the University of California at San Francisco and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in San Francisco.
By Julia Cheever