An orthopedic surgeon accused of meeting a girl for sex in Novato surrendered his medical license Monday pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Dr. Raymond Severt, 53, made his initial appearance Monday morning in Marin Superior Court, where he is charged with four felony sex charges. He delayed entering a plea until his next hearing on April 10, said Deputy District Attorney Aicha Mievis.

Severt, in agreeing to the suspension of his medical practice, is also barred from prescribing or dispensing drugs, and he must surrender his wall certificates and prescription pads, according to a filing by Deputy Attorney General Brenda Reyes.

At the time of his arrest last month Severt worked for Santa Rosa Orthopeadics. He is on leave.

Severt, a Santa Rosa resident, was arrested by Novato police on Feb. 11. The investigation began when police received information that a man was sending sexually explicit messages to the girl and had arranged to meet her in Novato.

Investigators intercepted Severt in the area of South Novato Boulevard and Gateway Court. Police said he initially met the girl through an online chat room.

Severt was released on bail pending further review by prosecutors. Charges were filed on Thursday.

Severt's lawyer, Stephen Turer, has said the girl lied about her age on a dating website intended for people 18 and older. The girl later said she was under 18, police said.

Turer said his client was stopped by police before he ever met the girl, so he did not have the opportunity to see that she was underage for himself.

Severt could face up to four years in prison on charges of attempted lewd acts with a child under 14, communicating with a minor for the purpose of lewd behavior, arranging a meeting with a minor for purposes of lewd behavior, and distribution of lewd material to a minor.

The latter charge is for the sexually explicit messages he allegedly sent the girl.

Contact Gary Klien via email at gklien@marinij.com.