KANSAS CITY, Mo. —University of Kansas Medical Center officials were shocked Wednesday by reports that a respiratory therapist who worked there told federal agents he inappropriately touched at least one child and one adult.
Michael D. Toal, 55, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged late Tuesday with producing child pornography and attempting to distribute child porn over the Internet. He remained in federal custody Wednesday and is seeking to have an attorney appointed for him.
Besides having access to children at the Kansas City, Kan., hospital, Toal also briefly served as a volunteer last year for an agency that advocates for abused children involved in the state court system.
Medical Center spokesman Dennis McCulloch said Wednesday that Toal was fired earlier in the day after hospital officials read court documents that included statements he made to investigators admitting that he was sexually attracted to children.
"We're certainly appalled by this information," McCulloch said. "We jumped on it as soon as we received it and tried to get ahold of people to get all the information. We will continue to look for clarification to some of those statements."
According to court documents, Toal told FBI agents on Tuesday that he downloaded child pornography, had inappropriate sexual contact with an unidentified patient while working as a therapist, and sexually abused an 8-year-old he was baby-sitting at his house.
What's unclear is whether the contact with the patient was at the University of Kansas Medical Center or at other hospitals where he served as a respiratory therapist for nearly two decades.
"He worked here as a respiratory therapist since June 2009," McCulloch said. "Before that he worked 18 years at a temporary agency for respiratory therapists. He worked at all the hospitals in the area."
Martha Gershun, executive director for the Jackson County Court Appointed Special Advocate chapter in Jackson County, Mo., said Toal was a child advocate with her agency from April until December.
She said none of the allegations against Toal involve children served by CASA.
"This diverts attention from the good work our volunteers do," Gershun said.
Toal came to the attention of federal investigators last August when an FBI agent in Denver traced files containing child pornography on a popular file-sharing network back to his computer.