Drugs for Sex Case Appeals Nearly Exhausted | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Drugs for Sex Case Appeals Nearly Exhausted

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Convicted Plum physician Bernard Rottschaefer's most recent, and likely last, bid for a new trial was denied Dec. 28 by U.S. District Court Judge Gary Lancaster.

Rottschaefer was convicted in 2004 of illegally prescribing narcotics to five patients whom prosecutors alleged didn't need the drugs. Four of the five women claimed they received the drugs in exchange for sex (see City Paper Main Feature, "Bitter Pills," May 25, 2006).

In this most recent legal move, after losing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the doctor's attorneys had claimed that testimony given by his former patients in depositions for a civil trial contradicted testimony they gave at Rottschaefer's criminal trial. However, Lancaster ruled, "[T]here was sufficient evidence independent of the patients' testimony to uphold Rottschaefer's conviction."

In denying the motion, Lancaster rescheduled Rottschaefer's re-sentencing for Feb. 9. The original six-year sentence was tossed out by the appeals court because Rottschaefer was originally sentenced under federal guidelines that were later ruled unconstitutional.

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