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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Morgenstern will stay in jail on federal child porn, assault charges

The Spokane Veterans Affairs hospital physician jailed and facing federal charges of sexually assaulting and filming children during sex acts will remain behind bars after waiving a bail hearing Thursday afternoon. Craig Morgenstern will begin his second week in the Spokane County Jail on Friday. He was brought to the Spokane jail from Stevens County, where he was twice arrested and charged with child rape and possession of child pornography. Morgenstern’s first arrest came after a boy told police he’d fallen asleep and been molested by the physician at his Nine Mile Falls home. The boy escaped the home and ran to a neighbor, who called 911. Morgenstern arrived on scene as the police responded, saying he was looking for the boy. Doctors later found traces of sedatives in the boy’s blood. Stevens County Sheriff’s deputies initially inspected Morgenstern’s home, then returned with a warrant. They believe he attempted to destroy digital evidence, including a laptop on his way to turn himself in to Stevens County authorities. Morgenstern appeared in leg irons and a yellow jumpsuit Thursday. He’d already posted bond of $100,000 in one of the Stevens County cases before federal authorities took him into custody last week. His attorney, Christian Phelps, asked to waive the bond hearing and revisit the issue later, if necessary. U.S. Assistant Attorney James Goeke asked U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Rodgers to order Morgenstern not to have any contact with potential witnesses in the case while he is in jail. “I think that would be a real good idea,” Rodgers said. Morgenstern nodded as Rodgers told him not to contact any witnesses in the case. The order means that Morgenstern will remain in jail unless he asks the judge to set bond at a later date. No court dates have been set.
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