- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man convicted of stealing and selling human skulls and skeletons from a medical college was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution.

Weston Moquin, 29, who was an anatomical assistant in the anatomy lab at Ohio University in Athens, pleaded guilty to stealing human remains, autopsy saws and other items from the school, reaping profits from online sales.

Federal Judge James Graham handed down Moquin’s sentence at a hearing in Columbus.

Defense attorney Keith Yeazel that Moquin get probation, saying he’s a first-time, nonviolent offender who stole to support a painkiller addiction he developed after a back injury.

Mr. Moquin is an individual who understands his substance abuse had made a complete mess of his and his family’s life,” Yeazel wrote in a court record seeking probation for his client.

“I don’t think you need to put him in prison to rehabilitate him,” Yeazel said Tuesday ahead of Moquin’s sentencing.

Federal prosecutors had asked for Moquin to serve 27 months in prison, arguing that he abused a position of trust and damaged Ohio University’s reputation.

“As a result of the theft and attendant publicity, the body donor program received many inquiries and it is unknown, and probably unknowable, whether people decided against such a donation based on defendant Moquin’s actions,” prosecutors Deborah Solove wrote in court documents.

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