Doctor linked to student's suicide denied conviction reduction

Christian Hageseth asked the court to reduce his felony to a misdemeanor

A Colorado physician who was convicted of illegally supplying prescription drugs that led to a depressed Stanford University student's suicide will not receive a reduced conviction, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak has ruled.

Christian Ellis Hageseth, 70, pleaded no contest on Feb. 24, 2009, to a felony count of practicing medicine without a valid California medical license after prescribing anti-depressants through the Internet.

He prescribed the drugs to John McKay, a Stanford student and Menlo Park resident who was depressed, in June 2005. McKay committed suicide two months later.

Hageseth was sentenced July 1, 2009, to three years supervised probation after serving nine months under house arrest at his Colorado home. He received counseling, and paid more than $4,500 in restitution to the court and California Medical Board, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office said.

He could have had his conviction reduced to a misdemeanor after successfully completing his probation, but prosecutors opposed the defense motion.

Novak agreed, saying she had heard nothing compelling her to grant the requested relief, according to the DA's office.

The judge said she had concerns that Hagaseth might commit the crime again, in light of statements he made that minimized his culpability. Novak said Hagaseth thinks he is above the law and is not entitled to a misdemeanor reduction.


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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm

How is he responsible for the suicide? Wasn't he trying to help the student? The only crime here is supplying the drugs without a medical license.

2 people like this
Posted by indignant
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2011 at 9:59 am

Thanks to the judge he is STILL a felon, as well he should be. He still believes he had a right to make money in an irresponsible way, and has shown little remorse after this tragedy. KUDOS to the California court system for trying to protect the unwary from the greed of this man and the internet pharmacy who hired him. He was not licensed in ANY state to prescribe medicine.

Like this comment
Posted by fault
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

this stu should seek free help from Stanford hospital,they offer free service.

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