Sunday, March 2, 2008

Levine charged with three drug-related felonies

Waverly, Ohio – As promised, prosecutors have dismissed a sexual imposition charge against a former Mason County physician to focus on pursing drug-related charges against him.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, Dr. Jack M. Levine was scheduled to go on trial for sexual imposition. Levine was charged with the crime, a misdemeanor, in December after a female patient he was treating for addiction to prescription pain medication alleged he touched her inappropriately.

However, the Pike County Prosecutor’s Office asked that the charge be dismissed. On Feb. 19, it filed charges of information on alleged drug-related activity conducted by Levine discovered in the course of its investigation of the sexual imposition allegation.

According to Thomas Spetnagel, Levine’s attorney with the Chillicothe law firm of Spetnagel and McMahon, Levine was charged with one count each of illegal processing of drug documents, deception to obtain a dangerous drug and aggravated possession of drugs. On Feb. 20, Levine made an initial appearance in Pike County Court in which, at the request of the prosecutor’s office, was released on his own recognizance, Spetnagel said.

Though Anthony Moraleja, assistant Pike County prosecutor, was not immediately available for comment, he previously told reporters it was the state’s intention to present the charges to the grand jury on Thursday, Feb. 28. Regardless, Spetnagel said a probable cause hearing on the charges is scheduled for Monday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. in County Court.

When asked if could comment on specifics of the allegations now leveled at his client, Spetnagel said he didn’t know the strength of the charges made. However, in talking with Levine, Spetnagel said, “He feels strongly that there are no substance to the charges against him.”

In Ohio , illegal processing of drug documents is an F5 felony which carries a penalty of 0-12 months in jail and maximum $2,500 fine. The deception to obtain, and aggravated possession are both F4 felonies that carry 0-18-months in jail, and a maximum $5,000 fine.

Likewise, F4 felonies carry a mandatory driver’s license suspension.

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