Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: Last year, Kaiser psychiatrist Stephen Melcher was sentenced for for child molestation. Was he released already? I cannot find him in the correctional system in California.
Submitted by: Akbar, Sacramento
ANSWER: Stephen Francis Melcher pleaded no contest in April 2012 to a charge of child molestation and was sentenced to 365 days in Sacramento County jail.
According to a story in The Bee, Melcher, 50, was sentenced under a plea bargain worked out with the District Attorney's Office. He also was placed on five years of probation.
Melcher told police investigators that he was under the influence of alcohol when he molested an 11-year-old boy Oct. 7, 2011, during a dinner party attended by the victim's parents and sister.
A staff member at Kaiser South Medical Center for at least 18 years, Melcher at one time was co-chairman of the Sacramento County Mental Health Board and was a former president of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society. He resigned his position with Kaiser in March 2012.
The California Medical Board also suspended his license.
According to a statement released by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office following Melcher's sentencing, prosecutors signed off on the one year of county jail time in the plea bargain because of Melcher's age, his lack of a prior record and the fact that he was intoxicated when he committed the offense. The statement also cited the medical board's action and the requirement that he register as a sex offender.
Melcher's name was not found in an online search of current Sacramento County jail inmates.
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