Prosecution, defense comment on Van de Loo verdict

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SUPERIOR, Wis. (WEAU)-- Both the defense and the prosecution are calling it one of the longest deliberations they've ever seen.

After more than 20 hours, the jury in Dr. David Van de Loo's sex assault trial has reached a verdict.

The former Eau Claire doctor was charged with 16 counts of sexual assault involving 15 of his male patients.

The jury did not reach a verdict on the first two counts. On the remaining 14 counts, the jury decided "Not Guilty".

As a result, the judge declared a mistrial on the first two counts and released Van de Loo from bond conditions on counts 3-16. He left the courtroom with his attorneys.

The verdicts came with a lot of emotion after a three week trial and a year and a half of preparation.

"I will say this: we are extremely disappointed with the verdicts, at the same time any time a jury deliberates for 22 hours clearly there was merit to the case," says Eau Claire District Attorney Gary King.

"You can't describe it any other way but that in the end Dave was vindicated," says defense attorney Rich White.

The crux of this case came down to one question: Were Dr. Van de Loo's actions medically appropriate or was he sexually motivated by touching the 15 patients accusing him of sexual assault?

In the end, the jury sided with the defense.

Eau Claire District Attorney King says the jury obviously had put a lot of thought into the verdict,, and blames himself for the outcome.

"I take responsibility for not getting a verdict I sought, that's on me" says King.

As the verdict was being read the victims' families seemed visibly upset, but remained calm.

Dr. Van de Loo's family had little reaction, and was whisked out of the room quickly.

Rich White says they have a long road a head of them.

"It is hardly the end of a difficult situation but it's a hell of a start," he says.

Dr. Van de Loo could be retried on the two counts that the jury did not reach a verdict on. Neither the defense nor the prosecution would comment on whether that was likely. Van de Loo also faces several civil suits.

Earlier Story:

The jury sent a note to the judge saying they are done deliberating. They have reached agreement on 14 counts, yet remain deadlocked on two counts.
The jury entered the courtroom briefly, before bailiffs led them out so they could fill out court documents. Attorneys, families, and onlookers are in court waiting for the verdicts to be read.

Earlier Story:

We are in the 18th hour of deliberations and the mood in the courtroom is increasingly tense. You get the sense patience is wearing thin, as they grow weary of waiting.
About 90 minutes ago, the jury sent a note to the judge informing him they have agreed on one of the three remaining counts, but were deadlocked on two.
The judge then gave them what is called "Dynamite Instructions", which, in layman's terms, is an admonition from the judge to work hard to make a decision. The judge was clear that jurors do not have to reach a decision on the two counts, and they will not be held until they reach a decision. He told them "to make an honest attempt" at reaching a decision on the final two counts.
After receiving those instructions, jurors filed back into the jury room.

Earlier Story:

There is still no verdict yet in the trial of a former Eau Claire doctor accused of sexual assault. The jury has broken for lunch.

Just after 10 Thursday morning, the jury sent a note to the judge saying they have agreed on 13 counts, and cannot reach agreement on 3. There's no word on what they have agreed to.

The defense team asked the judge to read the verdict on those 13 and then have the jury continue deliberating on the last three. But the judge denied that request and told the jury to continue to try and reach an agreement. If the jury can't reach an agreement on the last three,
the prosecution says the other 13 will be read eventually.

This is the third day of deliberations. Dr. David Van de Loo is charged with 16 counts of sexual assault involving 15 of his male teenage patients.

Earlier Story:

The jury in Dr. David Van de Loo's sex assault trial is back at work.
12 men and women filed into the jury to resume deliberations promptly at 8:30am.
The atmosphere in the courtroom is calm. Prosecutors are reading, waiting, inside the court. We cannot see Dr. Van de Loo and his family, they are in another room.
Wednesday proved to be a day for patience, on the part of the court. As jurors deliberated some ten hours without reaching a verdict. Deliberations ended when the judge quietly sent a note to the jury room which simply read, "time to go home?".
WEAU is in the courtroom, we will continue to keep you updated throughout the day.

Earlier Story:

It's a waiting game in a Douglas County courtroom.
Everyone here is sitting, watching, and waiting to hear from the jury.
Both sides seem confident.

The prosecution team is waiting in the court room. The defense is in a separate room with Van de Loo and his family. Van de Loo's family has been in court with him the entire trial.

The families of victims are staying in a separate room but will come to the courtroom for the verdict.

No one is sure when the jury will return.

Earlier Story:

The jury in the David Van de Loo trial has reconvened after a lunch break. They ended their lunch break just before one o'clock, and they haven't had any requests for the court since.

Earlier this morning, jurors asked the court for clarification on the definition of sexual gratification. The judge decided no further definition can be given. Van de Loo's attorneys and prosecutors agreed with the decision. Around 10:30am, the jury asked for the medical records of one of the patients, the judge denied the request.
About an hour after convening at 8:30am, jurors asked the lawyers to see several pieces of evidence including Dr. Van de Loo's genital exam records for the 15 patients. They also asked to view the visit summaries from each appointment.

On Tuesday afternoon, both the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments.

This case really boils down to one question. The jury has to decide whether Van de Loo's actions were sexually motivated or medically appropriate during an exam.

The jury will have to deliberate each of the 16 charges van de loo is charged with.

61-year-old David Van de Loo, of Eau Claire, is accused of touching teenagers inappropriately during examinations. He's charged with 16 counts of sexual assault.

The court dismissed the 12 jurors early Tuesday evening.
Prosecutors say Van de Loo touched young male patients inappropriately when he worked at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire. Van de Loo has been on trial in Superior since January 21.

At the heart of the case against Van de Loo is the question jurors must decide. Were the doctor's actions sexual assault, or appropriate medical techniques.

Tuesday, the defense and prosecution presented closing arguments before handing the case to the jury. The prosecution says Dr. Van de Loo used his power and trust as a doctor to violate 15 of his patients. The defense argues that this case is manufactured by the media and government and that after one family had a concern, more families were solicited to come forward because Van de Loo was simply being more thorough than other doctors.

"Just because one doctor does something different than another, doesn't mean it's sexually motivated," said Van de Loo's Attorney, Steven Hurley.

"There isn't an expert in this case that told you it was okay to masturbate a child," said Eau Claire County District Attorney, Gary King.

The case was handed over to the jury just before four p.m. Tuesday. The jury was cut down to the 12 that will deliberate, 4 women and 8 men. There is no time frame on how long it could take. The jury has to deliberate each count on its own.

Earlier Story

SUPERIOR, Wis. (WEAU) -- A jury in Douglas County could begin deliberations Tuesday in the trial for Dr. David Van de Loo. The Eau Claire pediatrician is accused of sexually assaulting patients.

On Tuesday morning, the defense rested its case after calling its last witness to the stand. Closing arguments are expected to begin in the afternoon.

Van de Loo is charged with 16 counts of felony sexual assault. 15 teenagers say Van de Loo touched them inappropriately during sports physical exams.