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Grants Pass woman pleads not guilty to child-mistreatment charges in Multnomah County


PORTLAND, Oregon — A southern Oregon woman pleaded not guilty to charges arising from a child-abuse investigation involving her children.

The indictment obtained by The Oregonian ( ) accuses Katherine Parker of intentionally causing physical injury to her children as well as manipulating physicians and encouraging unnecessary surgeries. Some of the alleged crimes occurred in Portland, where she was arraigned Friday.

Parker, 44, of Grants Pass is being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center on $1.2 million bail.

The 43-count indictment alleges the abuse involved a son, now 8 years old, and two daughters, ages 4 and 6. It accuses the stay-at-home mother of criminal mistreatment, assault, computer crime, identity theft, witness tampering, reckless endangerment and a child-abandonment count that involves a daughter adopted from Ukraine. The charge alleges she "did unlawfully and knowingly desert" the girl on Nov. 1, 2012.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reported that at least six of the Parker children were the subject of a protective-custody hearing in that city two weeks ago. The judge ruled that the children could remain with their mother pending a family custody trial. The status of the children since Parker's arrest is unclear.

The Oregonian reports that Parker has written extensively online about what she considered her children's ailments, which ranged from a boy with spina bifida and other special-needs kids with autism, Asperger's syndrome and brain ailments.

Among the physicians who testified before the grand jury were pediatricians from Portland and Medford, the indictment states.

The computer crime charges accuse Parker of executing a scheme online to "defraud; and for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses or representations."

The identity-theft counts allege that Parker used the personal identification of her children with the purpose to defraud or deceive. The witness-tampering allegation said she tried to induce her older children to offer false testimony in September and October.

"It's obviously a serious case given the number of counts and the nature of the charges involved," said Chuck Mickley, a Multnomah County deputy district attorney.

Information from: The Oregonian,

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