WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 06, 2012, 02:43 PM

Fargo Surgeon: Contentious divorce and custody battle led wife to accuse him of rape

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) – It is an extremely contentious divorce and custody battle. That's what a suspended Fargo surgeon says led his wife to accuse him of rape.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) – It is an extremely contentious divorce and custody battle. That's what a suspended Fargo surgeon says led his wife to accuse him of rape.

On Tuesday, 41 year old Dr. Jon Norberg pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual assault and felony reckless endangerment. It was an alford plea, meaning he doesn't admit guilt but admits there is enough evidence to convict him. Gross Sexual Imposition charges were dropped.

Dr. Jon Norberg admits to giving his wife propofol over 18 months, but says she agreed to it. Now, he's making shocking accusations of his own to clear his name.

DR. JON NORBERG - Fargo Suspended Surgeon: “I just never knew my wife, Alonna, would try to burn me.”

In front of a slew of news cameras, Dr. Jon Norberg tearfully tries to put out a fire. One he helped start.

JON: “I cannot tell you how painful it is to have someone you loved accuse you of such terrible things. I did not and I never would do the things she accused me of doing.”

After 15 years, Norberg says his wife's mental and physical issues and prescription drug addiction became too much. He threatened to divorce her and take their children, weeks went by.

JON: “Unknown to me, she had already met with her divorce attorney several times. After meeting with her attorney on June 16, 2011, she claimed I drugged her and sexually assaulted her that night.”

The now suspended surgeon says Alonna wanted the upper hand in a divorce. He says the rape claim at their South Fargo home was all part of that strategy. The same place officers found 24 bottles of propofol.

JON: “Based on her previous experience as a sexual assault expert in criminal cases, she knew that by alleging drug-facilitated sexual assault, she could prevent me from having any custody of the children.”

The once prominent doctor claims he only gave that powerful drug to his wife to treat her severe pain from a disorder. He says she was on more than 30 medications, and alternative treatments didn't work. It helped, but now Norberg believes he was set up.

JON: “I will be punished for my part in using propofol at home. I now realize her's was a problem I could not fix and it was a mistake to try. For this I am truly sorry.”

We spoke with Sanford. Hospital officials tell us Dr. Norberg is still technically an employee. Both Alonna and her attorney declined to comment.

WDAY 6 News is learning Dr. Jon Norberg could be required to register as a sex offender. A Cass County judge is ordering a pre-sentence investigation. The papers were filed today.

Norberg will undergo a sex offender risk assessment by the Department of Corrections. Workers will look into his background and conduct interviews. A judge will ultimately decide if and for how long he may have to register.

GARY EUREN - Cass County Prosecutor: “There's no requirement that there's registration. It is optional with a judge. We have not requested that, but there is certainly the possibility of treatment being involved.”

That investigation has to be done within 60 days. Norberg faces five years in prison.