INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A local fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm on patients appeared in court today.
Now-retired doctor Donald Cline is charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice for statements he made to investigators.
Those charges come after a lengthy investigation by FOX59.
Last May our crews spoke with a group of eight siblings, and according to court documents, Cline is a DNA match for all of them. The now-retired doctor allegedly admitted to some of the siblings his sperm could have been used up to 50 times.
“It was unethical what he did. He was telling his patients one thing and doing another,” said one woman who we are not identifying but who says Cline is her biological father.
Working out of a professional building on 86th Street, Dr. Cline always told his patients he used sperm from medical students during insemination.
According to court records, this year Dr. Cline admitted to his donor children, “He used his own sperm whenever he didn’t have a donor sample available.” Cline also added, “He felt that he was helping women because they really wanted a baby.”
“It is very sickening to think he ran his practice up until the time he was about 70,” said that unidentified donor child.
The case turned criminal because in 2014 two of Dr. Cline’s donor children sent complaints to the state attorney general’s office.
Prosecutors say in response to the complaint, Dr. Cline provided an official written letter. The letter said, “I can emphatically say that at no time did I ever use my own sample for insemination,” and “in fact, if this woman is saying this or writing this I believe she is guilt of slander and/or libel.”
DNA proves that simply was not honest.
“The overriding issue is truthfulness,” said Marion county deputy prosecutor Tim DeLaney. “From our perspective the moment it got elevated to an investigation by the AG’s office, it was his obligation to tell the truth and he lied.”
Some of Dr. Cline’s biological children simply wish they knew how many siblings Dr. Cline produced with his own DNA.
“I want to know every sibling that I have. I don’t think that is ever going to be a possibility,” said one woman we are calling “Carrie.”
“I just want validation. I want to find out as much truth as I can, but I know deep down that we never will know the complete truth as to how many siblings we do have,” said the unidentified sibling.
Dr. Cline retired from his medical practice in 2009.
As for his punishment, felony obstruction carries a maximum penalty of 18 months behind bars.
Cline’s attorney Tracy Betz issued the following statement:
Today Dr. Donald Cline entered a plea of “not guilty” in response to two charges alleging he obstructed justice. There seems to be some confusion in the media as to the “crime” that Dr. Cline was actually charged. The charges arise solely from his written response to inquiries from the Indiana Attorney General’s office and nothing more. He is not accused of hiding documents, influencing witnesses or otherwise not cooperating with the AG’s investigation. Because we are at the beginning of the criminal procedure, any further comments must be reserved so that the judicial process can proceed in the appropriate manner.