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Pediatric cardiologist arrested in Baton Rouge child porn investigation

2 months 1 week 1 day ago Tuesday, September 27 2022 Sep 27, 2022 September 27, 2022 11:00 PM September 27, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - An Our Lady of the Lake pediatric cardiologist was fired from the hospital system amid a sheriff's office investigation into child pornography charges.

Deputies arrested Antonio Felipe Belda Wednesday. His $725,000 home on Belmont Avenue, in the Hundred Oaks area of Baton Rouge, was raided earlier in the day.

Belda was charged with 130 counts of pornography involving juveniles and 50 counts of video voyeurism. 

Deputies told the WBRZ Investigative Unit they found hundreds of sexually explicit images and videos involving juvenile girls who appear to be under 12 years old. 

The investigation started Sept. 6 following a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, an agency that tracks child abuse.

Deputies wrote in arrest information that Belda's access to children prompted a swift investigation. 

When asked about if patients may or may not be involved and if any files were created at hospital properties, a Lake spokesperson told WBRZ: "Since this is an active investigation, I am going to defer to the arresting agency on details." 

Deputies later told WBRZ there was no indication patients were involved.

"The investigation is ongoing but there is no indication that any equipment was utilized at the hospital," an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson said, adding, investigators don't believe patients were targeted.

"There is no evidence that patients were involved," deputies said. 

Our Lady of the Lake sent the following statement Wednesday afternoon: 

We are shocked to learn of the disturbing allegations against one of our recently employed physicians. When we became aware of these charges and arrest at his home this morning, the physician was immediately terminated with no further patient or staff contact. Our physician hiring process is extremely rigorous and includes background checks, multiple reference checks and other nationally recognized best practices. We will continue to cooperate fully with our law enforcement partners. As always, the safety and care of our patients and team members is our top priority.

Belda's bond was set at $130,000. He bonded out later Wednesday, the same day he was arrested. 

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