Kristen Parker gets thirty years for hepatitis-C infections -- but her victims get life

Yesterday, Kristen Parker, a surgical scrub tech who managed to infect a great many patients with hepatitis-C, was sentenced yesterday to thirty years in prison -- a punishment that U.S. Attorney David Gaouette (who recently spoke in this space about the arrest of Highlands Ranch medical marijuana grower Chris Bartkowicz) sees as wholly justified.

Does the judgment sound harsh? Then consider the lifetime of health issues, fear and more to which Parker sentenced the unsuspecting patients who spoke to reporter Alan Prendergast for his September feature article headlined "Going Viral." She had a choice. They didn't.

Look below to read U.S. Attorney Gaouette's statement.


"Today's sentence should provide victims of this crime some measure of resolution, as Kristen Parker will be spending the next 30 years of her life in federal prison. This sentence is appropriate, and reflects the seriousness of Ms. Parker's criminal conduct. The U.S. Attorney's Office went out of its way on behalf of the victims of this case. The government required as part of the plea agreement that the defendant make a videotaped statement, discussing in detail her criminal conduct, for the benefit of the victims. This video was then shown to victims and provided publicly. The government also required that Parker sign consent to release her medical records to the victims of her crime. Today's sentence should truly send a message that there are very serious consequences for these types of actions. I would like to thank the special agents with the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena, and everyone with the U.S. Attorney's Office for their hard work on this important case."

NOTE: Parker was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn to serve 360 months (30 years) in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Parker was also ordered to pay restitution to Rose Medical Center of Denver and the Audubon Surgery Center of Colorado Springs totaling $506,935. Lastly, Parker is to pay $1,000 to a court sponsored victims of crime fund.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts