News from around Wisconsin at 5:28 a.m. CST

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jury deliberations begin in Wis. doctor trial

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - Jury deliberations began Tuesday in the trial of a Wisconsin pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen male patients during medical exams.

Dr. David Van de Loo, a former adolescent and sports medicine specialist in Eau Claire, is facing 16 charges that include multiple child sex assault counts. Prosecutors accuse him of having sexual contact with 15 boys under the guise of medical exams, but Van de Loo and his defense attorneys told jurors that all the contact was medically appropriate.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours before recessing Tuesday evening, the Leader-Telegram reported (http://bit.ly/Msb06ohttp://bit.ly/Msb06o ). They are expected to resume their discussions Wednesday morning.

In her closing argument, Assistant Attorney General Karie Cattanach said Van de Loo was sexually motivated when he touched the boys.

“He’s doing it because he enjoys the power and control he has over these children,” Cattanach, one of two prosecutors arguing the case, told jurors. “This is sexual in every way, shape and form.”

She added later: “Show these kids they did nothing wrong.”

Defense attorney Stephen Hurley said none of the alleged victims were lying during their testimony. But he argued that over time, the Mayo Clinic Health System, the boys’ parents and the media led the boys to believe they had been sexually assaulted.

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Wis. DNR grants mine company air permit exemption

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says a company planning a huge iron mine near Mellen doesn’t need an air permit to take bulk mineral samples.

Gogebic Taconite asked the DNR for a permit exemption in December. The DNR on Tuesday released a letter to company President Bill Williams agreeing that sampling activities are exempt from air permit and construction permit requirements. The letter noted the company has estimated air emissions should be within acceptable limits.

The company will have to maintain records of actual emissions for at least five years, however.

The letter was dated Monday.

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