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Hep C doc Dipak Desai sentenced to life in prison

Joyce Lupiani

Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Hep C doc Dipak Desai sentenced to life in prison

CREATED Oct. 24, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Dr. Dipak Desai has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Desai and nurse anesthetist Ronald Lakeman appeared in a Las Vegas court Thursday morning to be sentenced.

63-year-old Desai was found guilty in June of this year of 27 criminal counts related to the 2007 outbreak of hepatitis C.

The outbreak resulted in the death of 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana. Desai was convicted of second-degree murder for his death.

Lakeman, age 66, was convicted of 6 criminal counts although he was not convicted on the murder charge.

Another nurse, Keith Mathahas, accepted a plea deal and agreed to testify against Desai during his trial.

Another patient, 73-year-old Michael Washington, died in August but charges have not yet been filed in that case.

During the trial, prosecutors said Desai's clinic used unsafe injection practices involving the anesthetic propofol.

The outbreak was disclosed by the Southern Nevada Health District in 2008. Desai did not go to trial until earlier this year because of health problems.

Desai has reportedly suffered several small strokes in the past few years but was eventually declared competent to stand trial

Since being convicted, Desai and Lakeman have been in custody at the Clark County Detention Center.

Seven people were infected after receiving treatment at Desai's clinic.

Desai will be eligible for parole after 18 years. Lakeman was sentenced to 8 to 21 years for the charges that he was convicted of.

Both Desai and Lakeman declined to address the court after receiving their sentences.

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