STATEHOUSE (April 18, 2019) – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) providing justice to victims of fertility fraud could soon become law.
According to Pressel, this legislation stems from a recent case in which Indianapolis fertility specialist Donald Cline used his own sperm to impregnate over 50 women without their consent. Pressel said by the time the crime was discovered, it was too late for the women and their families to press criminal charges. According to Pressel, there is currently no clear path for these victims to file civil lawsuits.
“These women trusted this man with the future of their families,” Pressel said. “They believed they were receiving donations from verified, healthy individuals, and he deliberately deceived them. They were not able to receive justice in a criminal court. By providing an avenue to pursue their case in civil court, these families could receive compensation.”
This legislation would allow a person to file a civil lawsuit if they are a victim of fertility fraud. It also would raise the penalty for deception involving the identity of a person from a Class A misdemeanor to Level 6 felony, if the offender misrepresents human reproductive material, or a medical procedure, device or drug. Pressel said outlining this in law would help deter copycat situations in the future.
State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Pressel.