David Kwiatkowski, the former medical technician charged with spreading his hepatitis C to 32 Exeter Hospital patients, pleaded guilty to a host of charges in federal court Wednesday morning.
Kwiatkowski, 34, agreed to a plea deal that includes a prison sentence between 30 and 40 years.
"I'm guilty," Kwiatkowski told Judge Joseph Laplante in U.S. District Court in Concord.
Prosecutors said Kwiatkowski, who has hepatitis C, shot himself up with patients' medication to get high. He then replaced syringes with saline to make them appear untouched. Those tainted syringes were then used on unsuspecting patients.
One of the 32 victims also spread the hepatitis C strain to another person through sexual contact, prosecutors said.
Hepatitis C is a potentially deadly liver disease.
Kwiatkowski on Wednesday agreed pleaded guilty seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and seven counts of tampering with a consumer product. He also agreed to possibly pay restitution to the victims.
Kwiatkowski, who grew up in Michigan, was a "traveler," a medical technician who worked at hospitals across the country. In addition to the Exeter victims, authorities said
he likely infected dozens more patients. A patient in Kansas died after contracting hepatitis C from Kwiatkowski, prosecutors said.
Kwiatkowski's plea deal also includes a promise that he will not be charged with more crimes related to the outbreak in other states.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas called Kwiatkowski a "serial infector."
"This development marks another step on the road to justice for this defendant and for his many victims," Kacavas said at a news conference following Kwiatkowski's court appearance. "Tragically, for his victims, the defendant’s admissions of guilt are too little, too late."
Kacavas said the investigation into the outbreak will continue. He did not rule out the possibility of criminal charges against Exeter Hospital, which is facing lawsuits filed by some of the victims.
Kwiatkowski's sentencing was set for December 3. He will be jailed until that date.
Kwiatkowski said little in court Wednesday. He told the judge he has a history of addiction to opiates, cocaine, and alcohol. He also said he suffers from depression and has been taking lithium to deal with it.
Read court documents laying out the case against Kwiatkowski.