October 26, 2004

Miami TV weatherman fired after child solicitation arrest

Bill Kamal, long-time chief meterologist for Miami's Fox affiliate, WSVN-TV/DT, was fired yesterday after his arrest in a police sting. 47 year-old Kamal's arrest came amid charges that he solicited sex online from what he thought was a 14 year-old boy.

It took a police officer, posing online as a 14-year-old boy, two minutes to attract the interest of WSVN meteorologist Bill Kamal, federal law enforcement officials said Monday.

Oct. 18, 4 p.m.: St. Lucie County Sheriff's detective Neil W. Spector signs on to an America Online chatroom called ``Boyzformen.''

Oct. 18, 4:02 p.m.: Kamal, 47, using a sexually suggestive screen name, instant messages Spector that he's looking for a son to have sex with.

On Sunday, police officers followed Kamal from his Miami Beach condo to a convenience store parking lot in Fort Pierce, where he had arranged to meet his correspondent, and arrested him.

On Monday, Channel 7, owned and operated by Sunbeam Television, fired Kamal and ran the report as one of its lead stories.

''We have no other alternative but to dismiss Bill Kamal for cause,'' was all that Robert W. Leider, Channel 7 executive vice president and general manager, said.

Federal attorney Marcos Jimenez said Kamal was charged with child enticement, which carries punishment of five to 30 years in prison, although the charge could be changed by a grand jury indictment. This is behind a state charge of solicitation of a minor younger than 16, which carries up to a five-year prison sentence.

Kamal had been on television extensively over the summer during the extended hurricane season in Florida, both locally in Miami, as well as on the Fox News Channel as part of it's coverage.

Station owners, upon learning of the charges, dismissed Kamal immediately. They had no other comment on the matter.

Posted by mhking at October 26, 2004 10:10 AM
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