BY KOMO STAFF
Craig Morgenstern. KXLY photo
SPOKANE, Washington -- An Eastern Washington physician has been sentenced to 12 life terms in federal prison after being found guilty of 12 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
U.S. District Court Judge W. Fremming Nielsen also sentenced Craig A. Morgenstern, age 47, of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., on Monday to a 30-year term of imprisonment for each of his 18 convictions for production and attempted production of child pornography, a 20-year term of imprisonment for his two convictions for travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor and, a 20-year term of imprisonment for his conviction for receipt of child pornography.
That oughta just about do it!
The U.S. Attorneys' Office in Spokane says trial evidence shows that Morgenstern, a former Veterans Affairs emergency room doctor, sexually assaulted six young boys and produced child pornography images of the assaults from 2008 through 2014. The victims ranged in age from 7 to 15 years old at the time of the assaults. Evidence at trial also established that Morgenstern traveled to Idaho, Mississippi, and Tennessee in order to sexually molest the same victims and produce child pornography images for his own sexual gratification. Evidence also established that Morgenstern would incapacitate his victims using drugs so that the victims were unaware of the sexual abuse and so that Morgenstern to continue his crimes and avoid detection.
Prosecutors say evidence also established that Morgenstern’s crimes were discovered after one of his victims, then a child under 14 , escaped from the Morgenstern’s residence in Stevens County on Oct. 18, 2014 after awaking to Morgenstern's sexually assaulting him during the early morning. Subsequent investigation and evidence lead to the discovery of the additional victims.
In addition to imposing imprisonment, Nielsen also ordered the forfeiture of numerous electronic devices and other materials that Morgenstern used to produce and maintain his collection of child pornography, the forfeiture of approximately $30,000 remaining from the sale of Morgenstern’s house, and restitution of approximately $10,000 to the families of the victims.
U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby said:
“Morgenstern is every parent’s nightmare. Morgenstern preyed on families by grooming both the parents and children into trusting him so that he could be alone with his victims. Once alone with his victims he would drug them, sexually molest them and produce graphic images and videos of his molestation of the victims. The trauma associated with Morgenstern’s actions cannot be overstated and the damage caused by the Morgenstern to the victims by his sexual exploitation of them and breach of their trust is immeasurable.”
Nine Mile Falls, WA