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Court Agrees to Dr. Desai Plea Hearing in Reno

Despite strong objections from the federal prosecutors, federal judge allowed former physician Dipak Desai to accommodate his change of plea in Reno instead of Las Vegas.


Federal Bureau of Prisons examined Desai in late July 2014 and concluded that Desai was competent to stand trial although he suffers from memory and cognitive impairment. Now that Desai intends to plead guilty, it is expected that a lengthy canvassing of Desai will be necessary for purposes of his guilty plea and that an interpreter in his native language of Gujarati will be necessary to assist communication with him at the plea hearing.

As part of the present federal case, Desai has expressed a desire to change his plea to guilty.  To accommodate his change of plea, Desai filed the motion seeking to have his change of plea hearing and subsequent sentencing hearing conducted in Reno, Nevada, rather than in Las Vegas, Nevada, so that he may continue to be lodged at Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) during the pendency of this action to ensure continuity in his medical care.

The court has reviewed the documents and pleadings on file and finds that good medical cause exists to grant Desai’s motion for accommodation and hold both the change of plea hearing and subsequent sentencing in Reno, Nevada.  Since 2007, the sixty-five year old Desai has suffered from a series of serious neurological traumas which now require continuing treatment at NNCC. These traumas include (1) a right-sided venous stroke; (2) a left-sided arterial stroke; (3) a transient ischemic attack; and (4) a multi-focal ischemic stroke in the left cerebral hemisphere. Desai also suffers from cardiovascular disease and other health ailments, including some continuing mental impairment.

As NNCC is Desai’s treating medical center and is only 35 miles from the federal courthouse in Reno, the court found that holding both the change of plea and sentencing hearings in Reno is appropriate.  The court granted Desai’s motion and held his change of plea hearing and any subsequent sentencing hearing at the federal courthouse in Reno.

Desai plea and sentencing hearings to be conducted in Reno will be broadcast by video connection in a courtroom to be designated in the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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