Judge, attorneys speak on sentence of Rockford doctor who molested elderly

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Judge John Lowry called the victims "highly vulnerable," and said Charles Dehaan preyed on his elderly and disabled patients for his own personal perverted desires.

Charles Dehaan enters court June 14, 2019. Awaits sentence for molesting elderly, disabled patients.

"He touched, fondled and groped them," he says. "Our community needs to be protected from you because you are a predator."

Today he is sentenced​ to nine years in prison, 3 years for each victim.

Dehaan is a former doctor from Belvidere. He lost his medical license and freedom when he committed Medicare fraud, and sexually assaulted patients during home visits.

Dehaan is serving a nine year sentence in federal prison for fraud until 2025, when he will be 70 years old. The additional none year sentence will follow immediately, with one year supervised release.

Dehaan's defense attorney asked the court to consider his age and declining health. He suffered a stroke last year.

The court says they considered health factors, and found that he is able to manage his symptoms in prison. Judge Lowry said his conditions do not overcome the gravity of his conduct.

"We do have serious concerns about his health while incarcerated," says defense attorney Melinda Jacobson. "We continue to believe that probation was appropriate."

State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross disagrees.

"When you are in the care of your health care provider you should feel comfortable. And certainly the trauma that all of them experienced can not be diminished," she says. "The wheels of justice turn slowly but they do turn."

Hite Ross says the sentence is the first step toward closure for his victims, who felt embarassed and ashamed of the sex-acts they say Dehaan made them do.

"I applaud these victims for having the tenacity and the courage to come forward."

Jacobson says they are considering an appeal, which will take place July 10.