Dr. Bruce Hensel allegedly requested the images from the daughter of an acquaintance through a messaging app in August, Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson of the DA's Cyber Crimes Division said, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Hensel was the chief on-air correspondent for NBC Los Angeles for 13 years starting in 1987. He also worked as a correspondent for KCOP-TV in Los Angeles.
LAPD detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children division launched a sexual exploitation investigation into Hensel months ago over photos allegedly shared between him and the 9-year-old girl.
He was taken into custody at his Pacific Palisades home by Los Angeles Police Department officers around 10 a.m. Wednesday, a month after a search warrant was served at his house, the Times reported.
Steve Sitkoff, his attorney, released the following statement to KABC: "Dr. Hensel is completely innocent of the charge. We are cooperating with the authorities and look forward to a speedy and complete exoneration."
He faces one felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes. He was released on $5,000 bail Wednesday. He could face up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
Hensel was also the co-director for two emergency rooms and has worked as a producer, author and director, according to The Times and his IMDB page.