Child sex offender who impersonated doctor to access children’s hospital wing gets 3-year sentence

CHICAGO — A convicted child sex offender who allegedly impersonated a doctor to access the children’s wing of a Chicago hospital has been handed a three-year prison sentence.

Christopher Chothen, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of being a child sex offender present in a children’s facility, according to court records. Judge Domenica Stephenson meted out the sentence.

Chothen has been required to register as a sex offender since being convicted of abducting, restraining, and sexually abusing a 15-year-old in 2002, state records show. He was 17 at the time of that crime.

Last July, prosecutors accused him of using a fake ID to access the secure children’s area at the University of Chicago Hospital in May 2022. While a warrant was issued for his arrest within a month, he didn’t get arrested until last summer, according to court records.

Officials said his phony hospital ID showed an actual physician’s name but bore Chothen’s picture. Prosecutors said one of the wings he accessed was designated for children, and “several” children were present when he was there. 

Chothen was not accused of harming or making contact with any children while he was on the premises.

While Chothen must register as a sex offender for life, prosecutors last year said he had not done so since August 2016. They charged him with failure to register last year but dropped the count in his plea deal. 

Christopher Chothen (Cook County sheriff’s office; Google)

He has received prison sentences for registration violations in 2015, twice in 2009, and again in 2004, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. His other felony convictions include possessing a methamphetamine precursor in 2010, being a child sex offender in a school zone in 2007, impersonating police in 2003, and unlawful restraint in 2002.

Chothen’s sentence will be cut to 1½ with good behavior. He also received credit for 196 days of time served in jail. He is expected to be paroled on New Year’s Eve.

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