CLEARFIELD – A former DuBois doctor acquitted in December on charges for overprescribing drugs was sentenced on lesser charges Monday.
Dr. Henry G. Dela Torre, 70, had been charged by agents of the attorney general’s office with two felony counts of administration of controlled substance by practitioner in accordance with treatment principles accepted by responsible segment of the medical profession and two felony counts of submitting claim or referring improper service, as well as two misdemeanor counts of giving controlled substance to dependent person, and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the overdose death of Rachel Shumaker of Punxsutawney in August of 2016.
The case also involved her brother, Randall, who overdosed a month later. He was revived with Narcan.
A jury acquitted him of all charges in December except one misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person.
During plea and sentencing court Monday, Deputy Attorney General Edward Song, who was one of the prosecutors in the trial asked President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to consider the death involved in this case and that Dela Torre was enabling the victim to continue to use drugs. He also asked Ammerman to use this sentence to deter other physicians from similar behavior.
In a statement by the victim’s mother read into the record, she said for her the case comes down to trust and responsibility. She trusted Dela Torre to help her daughter to live her “best life” and instead he was an enabler to her drug problem.
It was noted that the court had received 30 letters in support of Dela Torre from his family, church members, friends and other medical professionals.
Dela Torre’s attorney, Christopher Mohney, listed Dela Torre’s long history of charity work including his involvement with a free clinic and his successful treatment of other patients during his 35-year career.
Mohney also noted that Dela Torre’s medical license has lapsed and he surrendered his license to prescribe drugs in 2018. He has no plans to try to get those back, he said.
Before he sentenced him, Ammerman stated that Dela Torre has no prior record, not even a traffic offense.
Dela Torre will serve two years probation, pay a fine of $5,000 plus costs and complete 200 hours of community service.
Information discussed indicates Dela Torre has a civil case pending for these incidents in Jefferson County.
For more information on the trial, click here.