Doctor acquitted of sex assault charges
SUPERIOR, Wis. — A Douglas County jury on Thursday acquitted an Eau Claire, Wis., pediatrician of 14 sexual assault-related felonies, but failed to agree on two other charges.
The partial verdict came after more than 21 hours of deliberation over three days. Jurors unanimously agreed to verdicts on the 14 charges, but remained hung on the final two counts, prompting Judge Michael Schumacher to declare a mistrial on those charges.
Dr. David Van de Loo, 61, a former pediatrician at the Mayo Health Clinic System in Eau Claire, was accused of inappropriately touching the genitals of 15 former patients ranging in age from 9 to 19.
Jurors were unable to determine whether he was guilty of second-degree sexual assault and causing a child to expose his genitals. Those were the original charges brought by prosecutors in October 2012 after a 16-year-old boy complained to the hospital that he was sexually assaulted. The 14 acquittals came on charges that were added to the complaint when additional alleged victims came forward in the wake of Van de Loo’s arrest.
Prosecution could opt to retry the two charges.
An Eau Claire County case, the trial was moved to Superior due to significant media coverage in Eau Claire and Van de Loo’s prominence in the community.