Outrage continues to build over Kristen Parker, a surgical tech who was formally charged in federal court yesterday with multiple counts related to the exposure of patients at Rose Medical Center to hepatitis-C. The main story on the Denver Post's front page relates to the startling delay in linking Parker to numerous hep-C cases that first began cropping up back in April, and TV newscasts over the past day have either led with the tale or have given it.
In the meantime, Parker's MySpace page continues to linger online, and as we told you yesterday, it features some telling autobiographical passages. For instance, the woman who's been accused of swapping dirty hypodermics for clean ones filled with drugs of her liking wrote, "I have a crazy fascination with needles. I just like the way they feel!" Also included are plenty of photos. The one above is supplemented after the jump by some candid shots -- among them, an image of her with a fake bullet hole in her head -- and closeups of assorted tattoos. (She likes needles, remember?) Also below: a U.S. Attorney's Office release detailing the accusations against her. Click "Continue" and you'll get the point.
U.S. Attorney's Office release:
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Kristen Diane Parker, age 26, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who was formerly a Scrub Surgery Tech at Rose Medical Center, appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon, where she was advised of her rights and the charges, including product tampering and drug charges, pending against her. The initial appearance was handled by U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer. The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, Jaime Pena, asked that the defendant be detained pending a resolution of the case. A preliminary hearing as well as a detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 10:00 am, also before Magistrate Judge Shaffer. Parker was remanded into custody pending the Thursday hearing.
Parker is charged with:
Count 1: Tampering with a Consumer Product and Aiding and Abetting the same, which is punishable by not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If serious bodily injury occurred, the defendant faces not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If death of an individual results, the defendant faces life in federal prison.
Count 2: Creating a Counterfeit Controlled Substance, which is punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine. If death or serious bodily injury results to an individual, Parker faces not less than 20 years and up to life imprisonment.
Count 3: Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Deceit and Subterfuge, and aiding and abetting the same, is punishable by not more than 4 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.
Parker is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena. The investigation is being conducted by the Denver Police Department, the Denver District Attorney's Office, the Food and Drug Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tactical Diversion Unit.
A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Every defendant accused of committing a federal felony crime has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.