Hubbard County doctor sentenced in assault case
PARK RAPIDS -- A Hubbard County doctor was sentenced Friday to 3 1/2 years in prison for assaulting his foster son. Dennis Sullivan, 50, of Benedict, plead guilty Aug. 25 in Hubbard County District Court to attempted first degree assault after ad...
PARK RAPIDS -- A Hubbard County doctor was sentenced Friday to 3½ years in prison for assaulting his foster son.
Dennis Sullivan, 50, of Benedict, plead guilty Aug. 25 in Hubbard County District Court to attempted first degree assault after admitting to placing his hand over the mouth of his disabled foster son in June to interrupt the boy’s breathing for a prolonged period of time.
Sullivan’s defense requested a downward departure from the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, which the Hubbard County Attorney’s Office opposed, according to a release from the attorney’s office. Judge Paul Rasmussen denied the defense’s motion and sentenced Sullivan to the guideline sentence of 43 months in prison, the release said.
Sullivan testified Aug. 25 the boy he and his wife took in under foster care and were planning on adopting was blind, wheelchair-bound and severely mentally disabled.
He admitted that on June 17 he placed a glove in the boy’s mouth “in front of his tongue and behind his teeth” so the child could not bite him, then placed his hand over the boy’s mouth to interrupt his breathing. Sullivan’s wife caught him, according to earlier media reports, and he fled to Grand Forks, N.D., where he was arrested at a mental health center.
During the investigation, Sullivan admitted to torturing the boy in the genital area a month before the June incident. As part of the plea agreement, several other charges were dismissed ranging from third-degree assault to attempted second-degree murder, according to earlier media reports. The plea deal called for Sullivan to face between 37 and 51½ months in prison. He could have faced 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
According to Sullivan’s medical license, he’s assigned to the Wapiti Medical Group of Milbank S.D., and licensed to perform general surgery, trauma and surgical critical care. He obtained his medical education at the University of Minnesota and became licensed in 1991, according to earlier media reports.