Former Spokane VA doctor receives multiple life sentences for ch - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former Spokane VA doctor receives multiple life sentences for child sex crimes

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Craig Morgenstern, a former Spokane VA doctor convicted of sexually abusing children, was sentenced to multiple life prison sentences in federal court Monday.

Morgenstern was sentenced to 12 life terms in federal prison after a jury found him guilty of 12 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Judge W. Fremming Nielson also imposed a 30-year sentence for each of Morgenstern's 18 convictions for production and attempted production of child pornography; a 20-year term for Morgenstern's  two convictions of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor and a 20 year term for his conviction for receipt of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby called Morgenstern, "Every parent's nightmare."

 "Morgenstern preyed on families by grooming both the parents and children into trusting him so that he could be alone with his victims.  Once alone with his victims he would drug them, sexually molest them and produce graphic images and videos of his molestation of the victims.  The trauma associated with Morgenstern’s actions cannot be overstated and the damage caused by the Morgenstern to the victims by his sexual exploitation of them and breach of their trust is immeasurable.”

Morgenstern was arrested in October 2014 when prosecutors say a young boy fled from Morgenstern's home after being drugged and sexually assaulted. Prosecutors say Morgenstern gave the child hot chocolate laced with a sleeping agent and when he fell asleep, sexually assaulted him. The boy ran to a neighbor's home sobbing in the middle of the night and called the police. Morgenstern, at the time, said nothing happened, the child simply woke up confused and ran off. The child's urine was later tested and found to contain a prescription sedative. 

Following a trial earlier this year, Morgenstern was found guilty on all 33 counts.

At sentencing, Judge Nielsen noted that the evidence against Morgenstern was overwhelming. The judge also found that Morgenstern obstructed justice by attempting to destroy much of the evidence of his crimes before he was arrested.

Morgenstern was also made to pay $10,280 in restitution. 

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