Skip to Content

N4T Investigators: Senate holds doctors accountable for fertility fraud after passing SB 1237

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

TUCSON (KVOA) - Senate Bill 1237 Fertility Fraud holds doctors accountable when they use their own sperm to impregnate patients without their knowledge.

It unanimously passed committee and today it passed the full Senate.

It's a bill News 4 Tucson Investigators had a hand in.

Last May, we brought you the story of a woman who learned the doctor who signed her birth certificate was her biological father.

When we first spoke with Kristen Finlayson and her mother Debra Guilnet, Kristen vowed she would do everything she could to get a law on the books.

"It's a great step towards liability and hold doctors responsible for his actions," Finlayson said.

Deve Sethi is the attorney handling the civil case against former Tucson Ob-Gyn Doctor James Blute.

Blute used to head obstetrics at Tucson Medical Center.

"Once you told the story, immediately Arizona legislators were reaching out learning more about this," Sethi said. "Investigating it on their, own doing their homework."

Both Kristen and her brother, Aaron testified before the Health and Human Services committee two weeks ago.

Aaron and Kristen share the same father, James Blute.

At last count, they have ten half siblings.

"He's my full brother," she said. "My mom was told same Hispanic donor, same donor just not Hispanic."

The Salgado's agreed to the procedure.

Their only request came from their dad.

It had to be a Hispanic donor.

They were assured by Dr. Blute that's what they were getting.

"When these doctors were committing, these atrocities using their sperm to impregnate their patients without their consent, these doctor's never dreamed that their bad acts would be uncovered," Sethi said.

Sethi added his clients are very brave to bring such a personal matter before the public.

Aaron said his dad passed away in 2012.

"If he were alive, this would really hurt him too," he said. "When you talk about trust and the shattering of trust in human beings, his trust would have been shattered just like the rest of our families."

It's their mother they worry about because they believe what was done to her was criminal.

"It's serial rape, medical or not," Aaron said. "That is a criminal act."

Senator Kirsten Engel of Tucson agreed.

"I'm concerned that we are not necessarily identifying it as such still maybe that's something we can move forward separately," Engel said.

We contacted Dr. Blute's attorney Michelle Thompson about reaction to the bill. She told us she was unaware of it and would get back to us.

As of news time, we had not heard back.

Now, the process starts all over again in the House of Representatives.

We will keep you posted on the developments.

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

Skip to content