Crime

State College doctor sentenced to probation for prescription charges

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More than half million people have died between 2000 and 2015 from opioids. Today, opioid deaths are considered an epidemic. To understand the struggle individuals undergo once addicted to these drugs, we take a closer look at what happens to your body on

A State College doctor accused of writing prescriptions for a woman who was not his patient was sentenced to probation Thursday at the Centre County Courthouse.

Dr. Kenneth Cherry, 59, was charged in June with six felony counts of administering controlled substances out of the scope of a patient relationship and six misdemeanor charges of failure to keep records of a distributed controlled substance. The affidavit claimed Cherry had been writing prescriptions of oxycodone, Percocet, fentanyl, Adderall, Xanax and Ativan for the woman from November 2014 through May 2016.

The allegations came to light after a State College CVS pharmacy notified the state Office of the Attorney General, the affidavit said.

Cherry reached a plea agreement to have many of the charges dropped, the CDT reported in July. The Pennsylvania Department of State announced earlier this month that Cherry’s license to practice would be suspended for 30 months retroactive to July.

AG office prosecutor Patrick Leonard said Cherry could apply to have his license reinstated six months before the suspension ends.

Prior to sentencing, Cherry’s attorney, Jerry Russo, said that his client was “remorseful” for having practiced in the way he did. He said his client came from a more “old school” approach to treatment in a time when prescriptions were often written without records.

Cherry appeared Thursday before Centre County Judge Thomas Kistler and was sentenced to one-and-a-half years probation on three misdemeanor counts of failure to keep records. He must also pay $750 in fines and serve one day of community service.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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