Oculus’ head of computer vision pleaded not guilty this week to charges of attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
Dov Katz, 38, was arraigned Thursday in King County Superior Court in Washington State and issued a criminal no-contact order, preventing him from being around any minors other than his children or children of friends, without a responsible adult present.
Katz was arrested on Dec. 21 after showing up at an Embassy Suites Hotel with a cell phone and a pocket full of cash, looking to meet a 15-year-old girl for 12 hours of sex, according to an arrest warrant.
The girl was actually an undercover Tukwila police officer who Katz met on the Backpage website as part of a sting operation codenamed Buyer Beware, according to the warrant. Katz and the undercover officer exchanged text messages about meeting up and Katz paying for sex with the officer who initially identified herself as a 19-year-old, but later said she was 15, according to the warrant.
After his arrest outside the undercover officer’s hotel room, Katz told police he was actually there to rescue the girl, not have sex with her, according to the warrant. Police told him he should have called them first.
Katz joined Oculus in 2013 as a senior vision engineer after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was promoted to head of computer vision at the company in 2014, according to the profile.
Oculus and Facebook have remained silent about the arrest, but we have reached out to them again for comment and will update this story when the company responds.