Sex Assault Trial of Wis. Doctor Begins in Douglas County

Updated: 01/21/2014 10:54 PM
Created: 01/21/2014 5:40 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

The trial of an Eau Claire pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen of his patients is underway in Douglas County.

The judge ordered the trial moved from Eau Claire County due to the amount of media coverage surrounding the case.

A jury of 16, 12 jurors and four alternates, was selected in the morning. Prosecutors and the defense gave their opening statements in the afternoon.

Dr. David Van de Loo, 61, is accused of sexually assaulting 15 of his patients, all boys mostly under 16 years. A few of the alleged victims were under 13 at the time. Van de Loo faces 15 counts of felony sexual assault.

He was a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire for 18 years. Van de Loo was terminated in 2012 after allegations of the sexual assaults first surfaced.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged assaults occurred during physicals, medication and routine check-ups.

In their opening statement, the state said the evidence will show 15 kids were sexually assaulted.

Defense attorney Rich White argued that testimony will show Van de Loo "was performing legitimate medical procedures that were sensitive to adolescents but were never, ever sexually based."

The state will call their first witness Wednesday.

Van de Loo also faces several civil suits in addition to his criminal charges.

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