An Indianapolis doctor who admitted to inseminating women with his own sperm instead of a donor’s didn’t receive any jail time.
The 79 year-old doctor, Donald Cline, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in court Thursday, but he still managed to avoid prison, according to Fox News. The doctor, who pleaded guilty to two counts of obstructing justice, faced a one-year prison sentence, but the Marion County judge ruling on his case suspended his sentence.
After patients began coming forward in 2014 to express concern that Cline might have fathered their children, he originally lied and told authorities that he had not inseminated his patients with his sperm. Cline changed his story a year and a half later however, admitting responsibility for inseminating women with his own sperm when donor sperm wasn’t available.
Paternity tests show that Cline is the biological father of at least two of his patients’ children, according to The Indy Channel. Genetic tests also show he might be the father of 20 other children from patients that came to see him between the 1970s and 80s. Cline allegedly admitted to inseminating over 50 women.
Nowhere in Indiana law does the state specifically ban fertility doctors from using their own sperm to impregnate patients, thus the law’s failures in specificity allowed Cline to avoid any other charges.
“Not only did Dr. Cline abuse his position of complete trust with his patients, his decisions will have lasting impact through generations of the impacted families,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said after the sentencing, Fox reported.
“When someone has misled someone, particularly in the field of medicine, there is accountability to it,” said former patient Liz White, explaining that Indiana should criminalize actions like those perpetrated by Cline. “I want a state statute so it becomes a crime, not an ethical issue,” she added, Fox reported.
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