A former Indiana fertility doctor who admitted to using his own sperm to impregnate patients without their knowledge will not spend time in jail.
Dr. Donald Cline, 79, appeared in court Thursday and pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice, FOX59 reports. While the maximum sentencing for those charges is two years, Cline was sentenced to 365 days in jail, all of which were suspended.
The 79-year-old had originally told investigators that he had never used his own sperm sample to impregnate women, but he later admitted to doing so for insemination when a donor was unavailable. He alleges that it could have happened up to 50 times. Currently, nine of Cline’s biological children are known.
"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 stated after Cline’s sentence was announced. "There were significant limitations to how a criminal case could proceed against Dr. Cline, but ultimately he admitted to his actions and to intentionally misleading investigators."
Currently, there are no laws in place in Indiana against a fertility doctor using his own sperm to impregnate women, something that many of Cline’s biological children and their families are hoping to change. They are currently working with legislative committees on both fraud and sexual assault amendments.
While Cline won’t serve any time behind bars, he will have a felony conviction on his record.
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