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Published August 21, 2013, 07:57 PM

State board reinstates medical license of Fargo doctor acquitted of drugging, assaulting his wife

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners has reinstated the medical license of a Fargo orthopedic surgeon who was acquitted in November on charges accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting his wife.

By: Emily Welker, INFORUM

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners has reinstated the medical license of a Fargo orthopedic surgeon who was acquitted in November on charges accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting his wife.

“I think I’ve been exonerated,” Dr. Jon Norberg said Wednesday. “In basically every arena you can be exonerated in – the criminal, the civil, the professional.”

Norberg’s wife had accused him in four instances of injecting her with propofol or using an ether-like substance on her without her knowledge and sexually assaulting her while she was unaware.

At the trial, Norberg’s defense attorney argued that Alonna Norberg, who also is a doctor but is on disability, made up the allegations to gain the upper hand in their divorce and custody battle.

Jurors took less than four hours to reach an acquittal after a two-week trial.

In a March divorce trial, Norberg was granted primary custody of the couple’s three children and the couple’s house in Fargo’s Rose Creek neighborhood.

Shortly after, Norberg petitioned the state board to get his license back that was suspended indefinitely in January 2012 by the state board as a result of his administration of propofol to his wife in their home.

After the Board of Medical Examiners developed a plan to work with Norberg that included psychotherapy and a mentor who would oversee his work, it “concluded the things that led to his violations could be fixed,” state board Executive Director Duane Houdek said Wednesday. “Our focus always is public safety.”

Norberg is also subject to performance updates by the board, and required to undergo psychotherapy to address the character issues that led to his prior violations. Norberg was also required to take ethics and professional boundaries training courses.

“It did show me I had some vulnerabilities – I was willing to do something wrong,” Norberg said. “It was the right reasons, but the wrong thing … it was humbling.”

Houdek said Norberg hasn’t applied to the board for approval of where he wants to establish his practice, and with which organization, which is a condition of his license.

Norberg said he hopes to remain in the Fargo area because he is from Fargo and his children attend school in Fargo.

Minutes of a March 22 medical board meeting show that 205 of Norberg’s former patients expressed support for him, as did individual jurors from his criminal trial who contacted the medical board asking how they could help him.

Attempts to reach Alonna Norberg for comment were unsuccessful.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541

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