We already brought you some of the testimony
from Day 3 of The Propofol Rape Case, complete with videos and details about anal sex. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, we recommend you do. But there is more…lots more.
The victim, Dr. Alonna Norberg, is also the wife of the accused,Dr. Jon Norberg. Previously we were left with all sorts of questions regarding the involvement of Mrs. Norberg in selecting and consenting to propofol and its administration to her for what both parties claim is a chronic pain condition which began after the birth of their third child. Presumably this is some sort of pelvic pain issue. Mrs. Norberg testified that it was her husband that suggested the off-label use of propofol to treat her pain after he read studies of its use for chronic pain. She further testified that he used the brand name of the drug, Diprivan, and that while she knew what propofol was, she was unfamiliar with the name Diprivan and elected to trust her husband and consented to his administering it. She says she allowed this 3 times before she asked her doctor about the drug in September of 2010. Once she was told it was propofol by her doctor, she claims she was shocked and embarrassed. “I told him … get it out of the house and never give it to me again,” she said in testimony. From that point on she claims she never consented to the administration of the drug again.
It was in June of 2011 that she awoke to her husbands penis in her mouth, choking her, before losing consciousness again. Alonna Norberg said that night in June wasn’t the first time she suspected her husband of having sex with her without her knowing, but she said the earlier experiences, some of which she described as brutal, seemed so strange and unreal she wasn’t sure she didn’t dream them. But the incident last year the night of June 16-17 was different, she said.
In the morning, she found a syringe on the floor and a bottle of propofol – a powerful sedative – in the bedroom of the home she shared with her husband, a Fargo physician. She said she was frightened and confused but collected what evidence she could. And while her husband slept, Norberg said she made a video record of the scene, turning on a light to make sure she captured the propofol bottle.
Under questioning from prosecutors, Alonna Norberg, who is a pediatric emergency medicine physician, said she never gave her husband permission to give her propofol, nor did she ever consent to having sex while under its influence. Alonna also testified that she had reason to believe that her husband had videotaped some of the sex acts.
Mike Gjesdahl, a family law attorney appointed to do investigative work in the estranged couple’s divorce case, testified under subpoena Friday that he spoke with Jon Norberg in February 2011. Gjesdahl said Norberg told him he had administered propofol to his wife more than 30 times over an 18 month period ending in June of 2011 and that he had had consensual sex with her while she was under its influence 10 times. He went on to say Norberg contacted him the next day to modify his comments, stating he had sex with his wife six times while she was under the influence of propofol, not 10 times.
“He (Norberg) said propofol can provide the patient with an amorous effect,” Gjesdahl said, which he said Norberg referred to as “a side benefit.”
In her testimony Friday, Alonna Norberg described four instances in which she woke in the morning with signs she had had intercourse during the night but had no recollection of it. One was the June 16-17 incident in which Norberg said she found the syringe and propofol bottle. Another incident, she said, occurred three days later on June 19-20 after which she said she discovered a number of propofol bottles in the trash, which she collected and gave to a neighbor. Norberg said she then took her three children and the dog, enlisted the help of their babysitter, and headed to western North Dakota to stay with family.
There are major problems with Alonna Norberg’s story.
First of all, she is an emergency room physician. EVERY emergency room physician knows what Diprivan is, unless they went through residency in the very recent past as the drug came off patent and is now referred to mostly by its generic name propofol. Regardless, what sort of physician consents to the off label use of an IV medication on their person without looking the drug up for themselves? It is absurd. Furthermore, propofol is an utterly unique drug as it is the only drug in the world which is milky white. In fact its nickname is “the milk of amnesia”. Surely she would have noticed this when her husband came at her with a syringe filled with white liquid. And EVERY emergency room physician, even those who graduated yesterday, knows what propofol is.
Next is the fact that awakening from her first “treatment” with propofol, she would have realized she had been unconscious for a period of time. By the third time she should have caught a clue and investigated (google is your friend) just what this Diprivan was. But no. It takes a trip to her doctor to get the answers. She IS a frigging doctor. If this story is true however, she should not have a license. It would make her incredibly incompetent.
So now we are left with (assuming her testimony about 3 uses of propofol by September 2010 is true and his testimony about over 30 times over 18 months is true) her being knocked out at least 27 times without her consent between September of 2010 and June of 2011. How did he manage to jam a needle into her, hitting a vein, and inject her with propofol, which burns when rapidly administered, without her realizing or remembering? It is simply IMPOSSIBLE. And it cannot be administered any other way. There is no reason for Jon Norberg to have exaggerated the number of times her gave her propofol…that can only hurt him. Same with his claim that this was over an 18 month period. The story from Alonna Norberg suggests this all occurred over a period of time half as long.
So just what IS the truth? It is likely we will never know, but the scenario of Alonna Norberg consenting to the propofol administration and Jon Norberg having sex with her while she was unconscious without her consent seems the most likely scenario. But falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is a legal maxim which means false in one thing, false in everything, and in Law Meds opinion Alonna Norberg has told some whoppers so far.
Jon Norberg’s defense team claims that Alonna is a woman scorned and that she wanted to discredit her husband in such a way as to make her psychiatric and controlled substance use histories less of an issue in their divorce proceedings, so that she would get custody of the children. For his part, Norberg once pled guilty to lesser charges and then retracted his plea once he learned it would be admissible in his divorce battle.
Trial resumes on Tuesday with Alonna Norberg back on the stand.
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