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HesperiaStar.com
  • COURTHOUSE

    Former gynecologist gets 3 years probation in fatal wrong-way crash

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  • VICTORVILLE — A former Apple Valley gynecologist whose medical license had reportedly been revoked in the mid-1990s for sexual misconduct was sentenced this week to three years felony probation and two days in jail for a fatal wrong-way crash in 2012.
    Brian R. Sweet, 68, had his medical license revoked in 1995 for gross negligence and sexual misconduct with five patients, according to a previous Daily Press report.
    On April 15, 2012, Sweet was traveling south in the northbound lanes of Apple Valley Road when his Ford F-150 truck collided with a Toyota Highlander headed north, authorities said.
    The driver and lone occupant of the Highlander, 53-year-old John Martin of Adelanto, was killed, while Sweet was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.
    After reviewing the case for nine months, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office initially charged Sweet on Jan. 14, 2013 with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
    That charge on Monday was lowered in a plea deal, and Sweet pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, court records show.
    The case’s prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Carrie Halgrimson, said several factors came into play when arranging the plea bargain, including Sweet’s age, his clean criminal record (his medical license revocation wasn’t a criminal matter, records show) and the fact that he was on prescription drugs, purportedly for epilepsy, at the time of the crash.
    “There are many different things that are taken into account,” Halgrimson said.
    When asked if the sentence was typical for his felony conviction, she said it depends on the particular case.
    “It’s not atypical depending on the facts, but ... the difference for him was there was prescription medication,” she said, adding that those circumstances have to be differentiated from a case in which someone might have, say, a .24 percent blood-alcohol level.
    When reached by phone, an administrative assistant for Sweet’s defense attorney, Brian Watson, said Watson doesn’t speak to the media.
    Shea Johnson may be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_Shea.
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