Tenn. doc pleads guilty, admits to trading opioids for sex

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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Middle Tennessee doctor who admitted to trading opioids for sex with his patients has pleaded guilty to distributing controlled substances.

A Department of Justice news release says 50-year-old Dr. Lawrence J. Valdez pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of controlled substances. His sentencing is scheduled for April. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

The release says Valdez admitted to distributing oxymorphone to a patient without a legitimate medical purpose in 2017. He also admitted to giving four different patients “Schedule II opioids” on 16 occasions in exchange for sexual intercourse from June 2016 to February 2017.

The Tennessean reports the department announced in April that 32 Tennessee medical professionals, including Valdez, were a part of an “opioid crackdown,” a massive investigation into opioids and over-prescribing.

Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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