Former hospital worker sentenced to 8 years

Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2007

ANCHORAGE - A former hospital caregiver convicted of sexually assaulting a man who was in his care was sentenced to eight years in prison.

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Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton sentenced Alan LaPage on Friday for sexually assaulting a man in 1977. The man, now 28, was admitted to Alaska Regional Hospital with severe head injuries from a car crash. He remained in a coma for 43 days. When he came out of his coma in January 1998, LaPage was assigned to help him relearn basic skills.

The man eventually recovered enough to leave the hospital and return to a hotel job. He entered counseling for angry outbursts, and that's when he told people that LaPage had fondled him and had oral sex with him in the hospital more than two years earlier.

Police had the man contact LaPage and record conversations.

LaPage later was charged with five counts of sexual assault. An Anchorage jury found him guilty of one count.

As a first offender, LaPage faced an eight-year sentence. The defense argued that the sentence was excessive given the circumstances of the case. Wolverton sent the issue to a special three-judge panel for permission to deviate from the norm. However, the panel said no.

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