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Chicago-area ex-doctor gets prison for swapping drugs for sex

By Fiona Ortiz

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A former doctor who worked at hospitals in the Chicago area was sentenced on Tuesday to 70 months in federal prison for swapping Vicodin and other prescription medications for sex through advertisements on Craigslist.

Joshua D. Baron, 40, who was a pediatric neurologist, pleaded guilty in March to providing some 149 prescriptions for drugs such as Adderall, Xanax, Percocet and OxyContin to 16 people, in exchange for sex or cash, the United States Attorney's office said in a statement.

Baron's victims were women and he used the pseudonym Robert Crumb - the name of the satirical cartoonist - in his advertisements in the "Casual Encounters" and "Men Who Would Pay" sections of Craigslist, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The people who traded with Baron, who surrendered his medical license after he was caught in January 2011 following an undercover investigation, were not his patients, the U.S. Attorney's Office statement said.

In handing down the prison sentence, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer noted that Baron had abused his medical powers.

At the sentencing hearing, Baron said he was deeply regretful for what he had done and blamed his acts on a sex addiction connected to abuse he said he had suffered.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)