Former NICU nurse sentenced to prison for abusing multiple infants

MADISON, Wis. — The former NICU nurse who admitted to abusing multiple infants at Meriter Hospital was sentenced in Dane County Circuit Court Thursday to prison.

Judge Jill Karofsky sentenced Christopher Kaphaem to 13 years in prison and 7 years of probation on 19 felony counts of child abuse.

At the hearing, Karofsky addressed the victims, whom she referred to as “strong beautiful miracles,” and their families.

“I am so profoundly sorry that you all had to go through this,” Karofsky said. “On the most basic human level, one human to another, I am sorry.”

Kaphaem was sentenced to 13 years in prison and seven years of extended supervision on a count of child abuse including intentionally causing great bodily harm. On the other 18 counts, Karofsky sentenced him to three years in prison and three years of extended supervision. Kaphaem will serve the sentences concurrently.

Kaphaem pleaded guilty to each count in September. 

According to court records, he abused a total of nine babies born at Meriter from March 2017 to February 2018. The infants suffered injuries ranging from bruises on their arms to fractured skulls.

Kaphaem was suspended from UnityPoint Health-Meriter following the incident and his nursing license was suspended by the state.

On Thursday, Karofsky also ordered Kaphaem not to seek or hold employment as a healthcare provider or caregiver. He’s also ordered not to have contact with anyone under 18 without permission, excluding his own child.