Dec. 1, 1999
By SONJA BISBEE WULFF
Dr Christian Hageseth III has closed his longtime practice under order from the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners.
For more than a year, the state regulatory board has been investigating a formal complaint filed by the ex-husband of former patient Laurel Burson, who is now Hageseth's wife.
Last week, the board permanently revoked his medical license, effective immediately.
"They've taken away my ability to care for people," said Hageseth, who's practiced in Fort Collins for 21 years. "It's immensely painful."
Paul Burson, who won a civil suit against Hageseth in Larimer District Court, Claims the psychiatrist counseled his wife to leave him and then developed a sexual relationship with her.
Two years ago, Christian Hageseth logged on to the Internet in Colorado and prescribed anti-depressant drugs to a Menlo Park, Calif., teenager with a history of mental illness and alcohol abuse. A few months later, 19-year-old John McKay killed himself in his family home.
Upon learning that Hageseth had treated McKay, and that he didn't have a license in California, state medical investigators urged local prosecutors to charge him with a felony. Last year they did, accusing him of practicing without a California license. The maximum penalty, according to the prosecution, would be three years in state prison and state fines.
And although Hageseth's lawyer and deputy district attorneys in San Mateo County, Calif., disagree on many aspects of the case, this much is clear: The 66-year-old Hageseth would be an easier target for prosecutors had he run his virtual doctor's office inside California state lines.
Now Hageseth -- who had a restricted license in Colorado when he prescribed McKay's medication