BISMARCK (AP) - The North Dakota Supreme Court says a Fargo surgeon who was acquitted of drugging and raping his wife should maintain custody of the couple's three children.
A district court judge awarded custody to Jon Norberg following a 2012 trial when he was found not guilty of gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment. Alonna Norberg accused her husband at the time of giving her the powerful anesthetic Propofol without her consent.
Alonna Norberg appealed the child custody ruling and said the lower court equated Jon Norberg's criminal acquittal with a finding of innocence. Justices rejected those arguments in a ruling released Tuesday.
"The court's findings clearly indicate it considered the evidence presented at the divorce trial and determined her allegations were not credible," the opinion says.
The ruling added that mistakes were made on the distribution of assets and calculation of child support. That portion of the case was sent back to district court for more hearings.
Propofol gained notoriety for its connection to the June 2009 death of singer Michael Jackson. Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for providing Jackson with the sedative.
Jon Norberg said during the three-week trial that Alonna Norberg made up the allegations to help in the divorce and child custody case. He said his wife agreed to use the drug to relieve her chronic pain and help her sleep and that the sex was consensual.
The North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners suspended Norberg's license in 2011 and reinstated him in August 2013. He returned to his job at Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in November.
The Associated Press typically doesn't identify the alleged victims in cases that might be sexual assaults, but Alonna Norberg has spoken publicly about the case several times.