"I tried as hard as I could to keep up with normal appearances," Dr. Louis Hampers said during his sentencing hearing in front of Judge Robert Blackburn. "I told myself that my crime was victimless."
By the time he was caught in 2010, federal prosecutors say he had illegally obtained upwards of 19,000 pills. On Wednesday, Judge Blackburn sentenced Hampers to six months home detention and five years of probation.
Prosecutors had asked for 12 months of incarceration and Hampers faced up to 18 months in federal prison and $3,000 to $30,000 in fines.
Prosecutors believe that over a three-year period Hampers visited 20 pharmacies, assumed four aliases, and even went as far as to use the IDs of an alleged call girl and the woman's child to obtain powerful narcotics like Vicodin.
"I have a chronic and life-threatening disease. I'm grateful just to be alive," Hampers said on Wednesday. "To think that reputation [of Children's Hospital] might have been blemished or tarnished by its association with me is almost too much to contemplate."
Prosecutors say Hampers was undoubtedly abusing pain medications while seeing patients at Children's Hospital, but Judge Blackburn said on Wednesday there was no evidence that his addiction "hurt patient care."
On Wednesday afternoon, Children's Hospital issued the following statement to 9NEWS:
"Throughout the investigation, Children's Hospital Colorado provided full support to the U.S. Attorney's office. Our number one concern has been, and always will be, the care and safety of our patients. As soon as we were made aware of the issue, Children's Colorado conducted a detailed internal review that found no evidence clinical care was compromised during Lou Hamper's tenure and that our systems and procedures to prevent drug diversion were effective."
Judge Blackburn cited Hampers' lack of any previous criminal record as a reason for him to consider probation instead of incarceration. Hampers will have to lose his medical license during the period of probation and will not be allowed to have any contact with the Children's Hospital.
Last year, Hampers agreed to plead guilty to 14 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deceit. He originally faced more than 600 counts.
Hampers' legal problems are not done. In June, he is scheduled to go to trial in Denver County on a misdemeanor harassment case involving a former 9NEWS reporter.
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