Thursday, December 14, 2023

Child pornography charges

Dr. Brian Aalbers, DO, a pediatric neurology specialist, is charged in federal court complaint with one count of attempted production of child pornography.

Court documents stated that Oct. 23, 2023, Kansas City, Missouri, police officers were sent to meet a reporting party who said he located hidden video cameras. The location of where the officers were sent and other details were blacked out in a court document.

Aalbers arrived at the scene, but did not provide a statement, according to the court document.

The person who reported the hidden video cameras contacted KCMO police about text messages he received from Aalbers.

Officers found Aalbers in a Lenexa hotel and took him to Advent Health for voluntary treatment, the document states.

The hospital security staff took a backpack from Aalbers that contained laptop computers, iPad tablets and a cell phone.

Aalbers did not have access to the devices while in the facility and asked a friend to get his backpack.

According to the court document, Aalbers asked that person to destroy the devices because there was "bad stuff" on them.

In November, a forensic examiner told investigators there over 20,000 videos found on a MacBook Pro.

The videos were from December 2020 to October 2023.

A pediatric neurologist from Overland Park is currently under investigation for possessing and attempting to produce child pornography.

According to an affidavit, Dr. Brian Aalbers allegedly used hidden cameras to record thousands of videos.

However, it remains unclear where the cameras were located and whether any patients were recorded.

Many parents, whose children were patients of Aalbers, are shocked.

Sarah Howland, a mother whose two children saw Aalbers regularly at Overland Park Regional Medical Center and Lee's Summit Medical Center, expressed her concern.

"It's just really disturbing to think that someone who's such a great doctor and who is so knowledgeable and so smart like that has that other side to him," Howland said.

She also shared her frustration with the lack of communication from HCA Midwest Health, expecting more proactive communication regarding the investigation.

"You would have thought that they would have sent out something on a patient portal or something like, 'Hey, just so you know, you know, we don't have information, but your doctor is no longer going to be there' and you're probably going to see something about him in the news.'"

HCA Midwest Health released a statement, saying that there is no indication at this time that the allegations against Aalbers involved patients.

They also confirmed that Aalbers is no longer affiliated with Overland Park Regional Medical Center or any other facilities or clinics.


  1. Until recently, two of Sarah and Brandon Howland’s three daughters were patients of pediatric neurologist Dr. Brian Aalbers. The girls, ages 2 and 3, saw Aalbers at Overland Park Regional Medical Center on a semiregular basis. Sarah Howland said other than being a little awkward and talking fast, Aalbers was good at his job.
    “He was really knowledgeable, and he found some stuff in their MRI that another neurology clinic missed,” she said. “He just seemed unorganized but he was never inappropriate or anything.”
    But the Howlands, and potentially hundreds of other patients, suddenly lost care when Aalbers was charged in federal court with attempting to produce and possessing child sexual abuse images. The news of Aalbers’ charges has shocked parents, forcing many to question a doctor they once trusted.
    “It just made me sick to my stomach and (we) initially didn't have any of the details,” Brandon Howland said. “So my mind just started racing as to what it could, what it could not have been.”
    What we know
    Aalbers, 49, was first charged in federal court on Oct. 28 with attempting to produce child sexual abuse material. On Nov. 15, Aalbers was indicted on a second charge of possessing child sexual abuse material.
    A heavily redacted probable-cause statement alleges that on Oct. 28, Kansas City, Missouri, police officers were dispatched to an undisclosed location to meet with an individual whose name is censored in court documents. The person had found hidden video cameras that allegedly belonged to Aalbers, the statement says. The location of the cameras also is redacted.
    Later, the individual contacted the police department to say that Aalbers was sending suicidal texts, according to the statement.
    Aalbers was found by police in Lenexa, Kansas, and taken to Advent Health Medical System in Merriam, Kansas, where he received mental health treatment. At intake, per hospital policy, officials there took a backpack that allegedly contained two laptops, two iPads and a cellphone, according to the statement.
    On Oct. 30, the reporting individual contacted police to say that Aalbers had asked them to come to Advent Health, retrieve the backpack and destroy the electronics because there was “bad stuff” on them, the probable-cause statement alleges.
    Kansas City police requested help from the FBI. A federal judge issued search warrants on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 for the devices at Advent Health.
    20,000 videos and hidden cameras: what search warrants uncovered
    The probable-cause statement said that during a search of a location that’s redacted in court filings, officers recovered seven devices, including two MacBook computers and multiple SD memory cards and cameras. A federal judge issued search warrants for those devices on Nov. 6.
    Camera footage spanned from approximately December 2020 to Oct. 28, 2023. According to the probable-cause statement, the footage shows Aalbers setting up or adjusting the point of view of the cameras on multiple occasions. (continued)

  2. (continued)The lab tasked with searching the devices found 20,000 videos on one of the MacBook computers. The forensic examiner said up to a dozen minor victims were identified in the material, according to the statement.
    Aalbers’ attorney, Gregory Watt, told the Kansas News Service in an emailed statement that he is investigating the case.
    “Dr. Brian Aalbers is facing serious charges, but that doesn’t mean he is guilty of said charges,” Watt said in his statement. “At this point, we are working on gathering all the information we need in order to make good choices concerning his defense.”
    Aalbers’ next hearing is on Thursday.
    Parents of former patients left with a lot of questions
    At the end of November, the FBI published a survey requesting information from the public because of “the nature of Aalbers’ profession and contact with children.” Among other things, the survey asks parents if their child was alone with Aalbers or if Aalbers asked them to send him photos or videos of their child.
    Across the region, parents of Aalbers’ patients, like the Howland family, are asking themselves or their children similar questions. Sarah Howland said she and her husband started recapping all the visits their daughters had with the pediatrician.
    “We were thinking, ‘Well, if they [hidden cameras] were in the office, you know, we've changed diapers in there,” she said. “You just don't know.”
    The couple said their daughters were never left alone with Aalbers and that he never did anything during visits that raised red flags.
    A spokesperson for HCA Midwest Health, which operates the Overland Park hospital, said in a statement emailed to the Kansas News Service there is no indication the allegations involve patients, and hospital staff are working to help families.
    Still, parents say they are not happy with how HCA has handled the situation.
    On Facebook, more than 200 parents of patients have rallied together in a private group. Amanda Chilcote serves as an administrator for the group and has been outspoken in trying to help other parents.
    Chilcote said her 2-year-old son had been Aalbers’ patient since birth. Since the doctor’s departure, Chilcote said she believes HCA has not done enough to explain the situation to its clients.
    Chilcote said before she heard about Aalbers’ charges, the doctor’s office told her he was on medical leave. Then she saw he was deleted from the hospital’s website. She said she called the office because she was concerned and had an appointment coming up.
    “They've lost my trust completely. But in all honesty, I've lost trust in any medical professional whatsoever,” she said. (continued)

  3. (continued) Some parents say they are scrambling to find care for their children in Aalbers’ absence. Erica Morrison, whose now-adult daughter has been a patient of Aalbers for nearly a decade, said she is devastated.
    “He has always been great, compassionate, caring, loving, honest,” she said. “I don’t know how to feel about it because I feel like we lost a great doctor.”
    Morrison said she never received a letter from HCA about Aalbers. Her daughter relies on prescriptions from his office and had frequent appointments with him. Morrison said she called Aalbers’ office last week to try to figure out what to do.
    “They pretty much told me I was on my own … I needed to figure it out,” she said. That's not how you take care of a parent that has been following Aalbers for 10 years.”
    Morrison said her daughter is disabled and relies completely on her for care. She said she has a hard time adjusting to new doctors.
    Morrison said her daughter’s regular physician agreed to help with some of her prescriptions temporarily while she tries to figure out next steps. But she will need to find another neurologist.