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Prison Term For Physician In Child Sex Case

February 22, 1985

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) _ A doctor who co-wrote a book on child care for Christian parents has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing a teen-age girl.

Johnson County District Judge William Gray on Thursday sentenced Dr. Herbert L. Ketterman, 58, to five to 20 years in prison for taking indecent liberties with a minor.

The family doctor from suburban Kansas City also was given a concurrent sentence of three to 10 years on an aggravated sodomy conviction.

Ketterman pleaded guilty in December to the indecent liberties charge and was convicted of the sodomy charge when he stipulated in court last month that the incident had taken place but declined to enter a plea.

He appeared at the sentencing with his ex-wife, Dr. Grace Ketterman, a child psychiatrist, who had asked the judge for leniency. Neither Ketterman nor his former wife, who co-wrote ″The Complete Book of Baby and Child Care for Christian Parents″ in 1981, would comment as they left the courtroom.

Ketterman was convicted in January for a relationship with a 14-year-old girl, a former patient, from May 1983 to April 1984.

Prosecutors contended the relationship was encouraged by the girl’s mother, who was sentenced earlier to two to five years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted indecent liberties with a child. Authorities said the woman encouraged sexual abuse and took photographs during sexual acts between Ketterman and her daughter.

Ketterman publicly apologized to the girl, her family and the medical community. Mrs. Ketterman said her ex-husband had many insecurities and that those, coupled with money problems, made him vulnerable to seductive people.

Ketterman asked the judge to sentence him to community service work. His lawyer, Randy Austin, said the City Union Mission had agreed to let Ketterman work at the mission as a counselor or physician. Austin said he planned to ask the court to modify the sentence during the next 120 days.

However, Johnson County District Attorney Dennis Moore said he thought the case was handled fairly and that he would object to any attempts to gain probation for Ketterman.

″If you sexually abuse a child in Johnson County,″ Moore said, ″you’d better be ready to go jail.″