Fremd appeals sex-for-drugs conviction
A convicted Fayette County doctor filed an appeal Tuesday stating he’s undergoing evaluation for an addiction to sex that may explain his behavior.
“The defendant … is in the process of being examined by (a) clinical psychologist for a form of sexual addiction which may have some bearing in trying to explain some of the behavior that led to (his) conviction,” states the appeal, filed on behalf of Dr. Mark Fremd, of Connellsville.
Fremd, 48, was sentenced last month to 1 1/2 to three years in prison for allegedly trading sex for painkiller prescriptions, giving patients narcotics with the understanding that they would sell them, and bilking insurance carriers for medical procedures that he never performed.
He is free on $50,000 bond while his appeal is heard. It could take up to three years to decide if he appeals to the state Supreme Court.
The state medical board has not taken action against Fremd. According to Fremd’s lawyer, the doctor expects to lose his medical license permanently over the convictions.
Defense attorney Paul Gettleman said Fremd already has been punished enough and should not be imprisoned.
“Dr. Fremd punished himself in a way the judicial system never could. He stripped himself of his profession and the lifestyle he and his family enjoyed,” the filing states.
According to Gettleman, Fremd’s wife can’t support the couple’s six children, and he can do work that would benefit the public at large.
He “can provide a unique service … which would militate against locking him up in a cell and wasting the medical services and skills he can provide to Fayette County citizens.”
Fremd asked to have his convictions thrown out, or failing that, a new trial or a lesser sentence.
Fayette County Judge Steve Leskinen will rule on the motions within 90 days. If he rules against Fremd, the doctor can appeal to the state Superior Court. If he is unsuccessful at that level, an appeal can be taken to the state Supreme Court.