Dipak Desai gets life in prison in hep C outbreak case - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Dipak Desai gets life in prison in hep C outbreak case

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Dipak Desai, left, sat in a Las Vegas courtroom as he awaited sentencing on Oct. 24, 2013. (Azenith Smith/FOX5) Dipak Desai, left, sat in a Las Vegas courtroom as he awaited sentencing on Oct. 24, 2013. (Azenith Smith/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The former Las Vegas physician who was convicted in connection to the largest hepatitis C outbreak in U.S. history was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

A judge handed down the sentence for Dipak Desai, who was found guilty in July on counts of second-degree murder, patient neglect and theft. In all, a jury convicted him on 27 counts.

Desai's sentence included the possibility of parole after 18 years served.

Desai's assistant Ronald Lakeman was also sentenced in the case. He was ordered to serve eight years but no more than 21 years in prison.

Desai was the owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, where more than 100 patients were infected in 2007 and 2008.

Of those patients, 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana died as a result of the disease, which, court documents say, were genetically linked to Desai's practice.

During a trial, prosecutors claimed Desai and Lakeman rescued vials and other medical equipment.

A jury found Lakeman guilty of 16 counts but not guilty of murder.

Desai refused to address the court when he was asked to comment before his sentencing. Desai's attorneys made a final effort to get a lenient sentence for his client, saying the former doctor is a "caring and religious man" and the outbreak was not anticipated.

Judge Valerie Adair, though, called Desai a complex person and observed an "abundance of disregard" for patients.

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