Before shrinking, case had entangled Monica Wehby, Republican activist.

Katherine 'Kate' ParkerMultnomah County’s highly publicized case against Katherine “Kate” Parker, a Grants Pass mother accused of using doctors to subject her children to unnecessary surgeries, continues to shrink.

Prosecutors who’d filed the medical child abuse case notified Parker’s attorneys last month that they would drop 13 of the 43 charges against her, those based on surgeries by Portland neurosurgeon and Republican activist Monica Wehby.

Now prosecutors will drop the remaining assault charge against Parker, meaning all the most serious charges will have evaporated, according to the Medill Justice Project, an online investigative reporting initiative affiliated with Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

That means what amounted to a potential life sentence Parker faced is now one of several years.

Reduced sentence?

The Medill project last month published an investigation challenging several aspects of the case. It was conducted by 10 journalism students led by Alec Klein, a professor is a former investigative reporter for The Washington Post.

Prosecutors had alleged Parker “knowingly caused physical injury” to a son and two daughters with medical procedures, including surgeries, that were performed unnecessarily due to false statements made by Parker. They also accused her of raising money with false statements.

Medill’s Jan. 6 update on the case reports that “by dismissing the last of the four assault charges, in addition to the charges connected to Wehby’s surgeries, prosecutors will be reducing the amount of time Parker potentially faces in prison by more than 30 years, according to Oregon sentencing guidelines and minimum mandatory sentencing.”

It adds that she “still could face about six years on other, lesser charges, based on a matrix of sentencing guidelines, though there are several factors that could add to or reduce such a sentence.”

Chuck Sparks, chief deputy of the Multnomah County district attorney’s office, has declined to comment on the case, as has Parker’s attorney, Lisa Ludwig.

By Nick Budnick
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