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Published November 07, 2012, 09:05 PM

Fargo surgeon begins trail for drugging and sexual assault

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The first day of arguments kicks off during the trial of a Fargo surgeon, accused of drugging and sexually assaulting his wife.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The first day of arguments kicks off during the trial of a Fargo surgeon, accused of drugging and sexually assaulting his wife.

Prosecutors say Dr. Jon Norberg "defied dangerous risks" by giving her the powerful sedative propofol repeatedly over the span of 18-months.

Dr. Jon Norberg, charged with gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment, made his way into Cass County's courtroom for day one of testimony.

Reid Brady, Asst Cass Co. States Attorney: "At the end of this case you will know that the defendant defied dangerous risks by unsafely using propofol on his wife. You will know that he obsessed with sex so much that he perpetrated sex acts on her when he knew she was unaware."

Prosecutors say Norberg used propofol, the same drug that killed Michael Jackson, on his wife Alonna, about 30 times over 18 months, sometimes raping her while she was sedated.

Dr. Steven Shafer, Propofol Expert: "Dr. Norberg in his own statement said engaged in intercourse during the administration of sedation, and I do not understand how one can be vigilant as a physician looking after a patient while at the same time engaging in sexual intercourse.”

But Norberg maintains his innocence. His attorney says his wife's assault allegations stem from a drug dependency and the couple's ongoing and bitter divorce battle, where she is trying to get the upper hand.

Robert Hoy, Defense Attorney: "By turning the tables on him, she could find a way to make Jon Norberg look worse than she looks."

Hoy says Norberg admits to giving her the drug, but says it was her that asked for it, claiming she wanted relief from pain caused by an auto immune disorder.

Hoy: "They made a conscious medical decision that the possible benefits of using it in small doses would outweigh the risks."

The trial is expected to last until Thanksgiving, ultimately going to the jury to decide if this rape is really an ugly divorce tactic taken too far.

Dr. Shafer also testified in Michael Jackson's trial. If the jury finds him guilty of gross sexual imposition, Norberg faces up to life in prison.

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