The North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners has suspended the medical license of a UND department chairman facing 10 felony charges of child pornography possession.

The board's order of suspension for Robert William Beattie states he is temporarily suspended pending further investigation by the board.

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Beattie, 55, was arrested Aug. 6 in his office at UND. He admitted to police he had child pornography on a flash drive in his office computer, according to court documents.

The Board of Medical Examiners' order of suspension states "the continued practice of medicine by (Beattie) would create a significant risk of serious and ongoing harm to the public while a disciplinary proceeding is pending.

"Immediate suspension of (Beattie's) license is required to reasonably protect the public from that risk of harm."

Following Tuesday's license suspension, Beattie has 21 days to respond to the Board of Medical Examiners or his medical license may be revoked by default.

In court, Grand Forks District Judge John Thelen set a $25,000 bond for Beattie Aug. 7.

A preliminary court hearing for Beattie has been set for 9 a.m. Sept. 11.

Beattie is chairman of the Family and Community Medicine Department at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The university put him on administrative leave after his arrest.

Grand Forks police started investigating Beattie after receiving a tip in June from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The 10 possession of child pornography charges Beattie faces are all Class C felonies, each of which carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If convicted, Beattie also would have to register as a sex offender.

UND's School of Medicine and Health Sciences hired Beattie as a department chairman in 2006. Before coming to UND, the Garrison, N.D., native worked for years at United Clinic Physicians P.C. in western North Dakota. He provided medical care to patients of West River Health Services in Hettinger, N.D., on a contract basis.

"When Dr. Beattie was here (in Hettinger) he was considered a skilled and personable health care professional and a devoted family man," said Jim Long, CEO of West River Health. "It is hard for me to believe that 10 years later he would be charged with possession of child pornography.

"What a terrible time it must be for his wife and family. My heart goes out to them," Long said.

The flash drive found in Beattie's UND office contained images and videos showing what appeared to be children ranging in age from 1 to 14 years old engaging in sexual acts with adults or other children, according to court documents.

Beattie told officers the images were collected from online chat rooms.

Herald reporter John Hageman contributed to this article.