Fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm on patients appears in court

INDIANAPOLIS -- A fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm on patients appeared in court Monday.

Now retired, Dr. Donald Cline is charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice for statements he made to investigators.

Those charges come after a lengthy investigation by FOX59.

Fox59 spoke with a group of eight siblings in May, and according to court documents, Cline is a DNA match for all of them. The now-retired doctor allegedly admitted to some of the siblings his sperm could have been used up to 50 times.

“It was unethical what he did. He was telling his patients one thing and doing another,” said one woman who wanted to remain anonymous and said Cline is her biological father.

Working out of a professional building, Cline always told his patients he used sperm from medical students during insemination.

According to court records, this year Cline admitted to his donor children, “He used his own sperm whenever he didn't have a donor sample available.”  Cline also added, “He felt that he was helping women because they really wanted a baby.”

“It is very sickening to think he ran his practice up until the time he was about 70,” said the unidentified donor child.

The case turned criminal because in 2014, two of Cline’s donor children sent complaints to the state attorney general’s office.

Prosecutors say in response to the complaint, Cline provided an official written letter.

"I can emphatically say that at no time did I ever use my own sample for insemination,” and “in fact, if this woman is saying this or writing this I believe she is guilt of slander and/or libel," the letter said.

DNA proves that was not honest.

“The overriding issue is truthfulness,” Marion County deputy prosecutor Tim DeLaney said. “From our perspective, the moment it got elevated to an investigation by the AG’s office, it was his obligation to tell the truth and he lied.”

Some of Cline’s biological children wish they knew how many siblings Cline produced with his own DNA.

“I want to know every sibling that I have. I don’t think that is ever going to be a possibility,” said one woman only identified as "Carrie."

“I just want validation. I want to find out as much truth as I can, but I know deep down that we never will know the complete truth as to how many siblings we do have,” said the unidentified sibling.

Cline retired from his medical practice in 2009. As for his punishment, felony obstruction carries a maximum penalty of 18 months behind bars.

Cline's attorney released a statement Monday:

Today Dr. Donald Cline entered a plea of “not guilty” in response to two charges alleging he obstructed justice. There seems to be some confusion in the media as to the “crime” that Dr. Cline was actually charged. The charges arise solely from his written response to inquiries from the Indiana Attorney General's office and nothing more. He is not accused of hiding documents, influencing witnesses or otherwise not cooperating with the AG’s investigation. Because we are at the beginning of the criminal procedure, any further comments must be reserved so that the judicial process can proceed in the appropriate manner.