- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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 (https://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.

“Each one has been told that repeatedly by people they trust,” he said. “Sometimes you see what you want to see. Sometimes you can look and see things another way. All of a sudden, innocence becomes sinister.”

Hurley said Van de Loo’s thorough examinations saved two boys, ages 12 and 14, from testicular cancer.

“He checks routinely. He checks without exception,” Hurley told jurors. “There’s nothing in Dr. Van de Loo’s history that suggests a sexual interest in adolescent boys.”

But with one victim, Van de Loo claimed he touched the boy’s genitals for eight seconds - while the boy said the touching lasted half an hour, Eau Claire County District Attorney Gary King said.

“You can bring in all the memory experts you want. There’s no way you can confuse eight seconds with 30 minutes,” King said during his closing argument.

Van de Loo, who took the witness stand in his own defense, maintains there were legitimate medical reasons for all genital checks he performed on his patients.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire fired the doctor in September 2012, after allegations of sexual assault surfaced.

The trial was moved from Eau Claire County to Douglas County because of pre-trial publicity.


Information from: Leader-Telegram, https://www.leadertelegram.com/

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