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Wisconsin State Journal
Psychiatrist pleads guilty to possessing child porn
By Ed Treleven
July 23, 2013

Psychiatrist David Israelstam

Psychiatrist David Israelstam

A former Madison psychiatrist pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing child pornography in a plea deal under which prosecutors will not pursue any additional charges against him.

Dr. David M. Israelstam, 74, who surrendered his license to practice after he was charged in February with two counts of possessing child pornography, pleaded guilty to both counts and will be sentenced at a later date.

Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke ordered a pre-sentence investigation, and Israelstam will be sentenced in about two months, once the investigation is finished. He faces up to 25 years of combined prison and extended supervision on each count.

The law at the time that Israelstam possessed the child porn was that he must be sentenced to at least three years behind bars on each count, but may impose a lesser sentence if “the court finds the lesser sentence is in the best interests of the community and the public will not be harmed.”

The law has since been changed to make the minimum sentence of three years mandatory.

According to a criminal complaint, a computer technician and former patient of Israelstam found pornography on Israelstam’s computer, including video that appeared to have been secretly recorded showing Israelstam in his office having sex with adult women.

The man also told police that Israelstam had a large pornography collection, leading police to search Israelstam’s home and office in 2011. Dozens of binders of printed child pornography were taken from his home, the complaint states, and digital child pornography was found on a computer hard drive and a DVD.

Israelstam was twice reprimanded by the state Medical Examining Board, in 2000 and 2011. In both cases he attended programs on professional boundaries.

Israelstam remains free on a signature bond.