Jury deliberates on charges against ex-doctor

Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- After nearly three weeks of testimony, a jury in Superior Court is deliberating on whether former clinic physician Stephen Grandstaff traded prescriptions for sexual favors from four women.

Grandstaff, 39, faces 105 felony counts on charges he selected vulnerable Medicaid patients, got them addicted to prescription drugs, then began trading prescriptions for sexual favors.

The charges, which relate to four women, include several counts of sexual assault and theft as well as 99 counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

The last of the nearly 25 witnesses called in the trial testified Monday. Anchorage doctor Robert Hanek spending much of the day on the stand Monday. Hanek was called by defender Bill Murphree to testify on whether the prescriptions made by Grandstaff were medically necessary.

Hanek's opinion of Grandstaff's actions differed markedly from that given in earlier testimony by the prosecution's expert witness, Cleveland physician Ted Parran, who said many of Grandstaff's prescriptions had no medical purpose.

In his testimony, Hanek stated that almost all of the prescriptions made by Grandstaff had a valid medical basis and fell within reasonable dosage limits.

''The prescribing was on the edge of the amount that would be ... recommended for that drug,'' Hanek said, referring to Grandstaff's prescriptions in general.

The defense lawyer pointed out that the four women in question suffered from serious medical problems such as anxiety, arthritis, and the endometriosis, and that treatment of some sort appeared to be necessary.

Pressed by prosecutor Stephen Branchflower, Hanek said he believed Grandstaff may have used poor judgment, but had not broken the law and that his indiscretions would have been better addressed through a malpractice lawsuit.

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