Man who posed as Lexington doctor gets 15 years

jhewlett@herald-leader.comOctober 16, 2010 

Dean Alan Willoughby, who pleaded guilty to numerous counts of practicing medicine without a license, sexual abuse and other charges in May, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday.

Flanked by defense attorneys Scott Hayworth and Jim Lowry, Willoughby, a Mount Sterling resident and owner of a music publishing company, stood before Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine. Willoughby's knees buckled when Goodwine told him his sentence.

He was immediately placed in a court prisoner holdover room.

Lexington police have said Willoughby, 45, posed as a doctor doing medical research and paid people, many of them homeless men, $50 each to examine their prostates, check for hernias and inject them with what they thought were vitamins. Some of the charges against him dated back to incidents that occurred as long ago as 1996, according to police.

Willoughby had an office on Corporate Drive in Lexington, where men from the Catholic Action Center shelter and elsewhere were examined, according to police.

According to investigators, "Dr. Dean" paid $20 to those who brought others to him to be examined.

The case began unfolding early last year, and as it wore on, more and more charges were filed against Willoughby. He was indicted on 75 counts of practicing medicine without a license and sexual abuse. As part of a plea deal, Willoughby pleaded guilty in May to 15 counts of practicing medicine without a license, a felony; six counts of criminal attempt to practice medicine without a license, a misdemeanor; and 14 counts of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.

Hayworth asked for probation for Willoughby at Friday's sentencing, saying Willoughby had been in sex offender therapy for the past 18 months and was making progress. Hayworth said it was his understanding that his client would not be able to continue such therapy in a state prison.

But Goodwine told Willoughby that his being in treatment did nothing for his victims. She said she disagreed "to an extent" with the claim that he would not have treatment available to him in prison.

"I believe, Mr. Willoughby, that the only way that this issue is going to be addressed is through imprisonment," the judge said. She said Willoughby's deceptiveness in dealing with those who became his victims and the fact that he was involved previously in a similar case in South Carolina weighed heavily on her sentencing decision.

Goodwine sentenced Willoughby to one year in prison on each of the 15 felony counts of practicing medicine without a license, which are to run consecutively. She sentenced him to one year on each of the six criminal attempt to practice medicine counts, and 90 days in jail on each of the 14 sexual abuse counts. The sentences on the 20 misdemeanor counts, by law, must run concurrently with the felony counts. Todd Henson, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, said Willoughby must serve 20 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Assistant Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn said Friday that police identified and interviewed at least 39 victims and that evidence seized in the case indicated there were more victims. Authorities were able to locate about 15 victims who could provide testimony against Willoughby as the case wound down, she said.

"(Goodwine's) decision to incarcerate him is appropriate based upon what he did, and that was to take advantage of people," Red Corn said.

In 1994, Willoughby was arrested in Columbia, S.C., for performing genital and rectal exams on men and women. In that case, Willoughby, who examined nearly 200 people, according to authorities, said he was conducting a steroid study at the University of South Carolina. Willoughby, who was an assistant church pastor at the time, pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license, aggravated assault and distributing a controlled substance. He served about one year of a 10-year sentence that had been suspended to two years, according to a former South Carolina prosecutor.

Friday's sentencing included discussion of what should be done with medical supplies that police seized during their investigation into the local case.

Hayworth asked that the packaged medical supplies be given to Southland Christian Church for a church program in which indigent people are provided with medical treatment. Red Corn said she wanted the church to understand what the supplies were and where they had been.

Reach Jennifer Hewlett at (859) 231-3308 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3308.

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