Nurse William Melchert-Dinkel of Faribault is charged with encouraging up to 11 strangers to kill themselves via chat room.
Melchert-Dinkel, 47, is allegedly addicted to online pro-suicide chat rooms and spent time in his Faribault home encouraging dozens of strangers to kill themselves and informing them on methods that would help them to do so.
Two charges against Melchert-Dinkel were filed in the aiding of suicide of Mark Drybrough, 32, hanged himself in Coventry, England, in 2005. He set up a webcam for Melchert-Dinkel to view as he hanged himself. Also, he encouraged Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ontario, to drown herself in 2008. She was a student at Carleton University.
Melchert-Dinkel faces up to 15 years in prison if sentenced, however, authorities say these laws are difficult to enforce.
"I believe a compelling argument can be made that not only are the charges unconstitutional but the underlying statute is unconstitutional," George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley said.
Melchert-Dinkel's nursing license was revoked in 2008 after being negligent and rough with patients. Authorities have since started investigating his case.
"Nothing is going to come of it," Melchert-Dinkel said in October. "I've moved on with my life, and that's it."