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La Crosse doctor receives 2 additional charges of sexual assault of a child

Joseph Poterucha is facing three total charges first-degree sexual assault of a child under the...
Joseph Poterucha is facing three total charges first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.(La Crosse County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - A Mayo Clinic pediatrician and intensive care unit doctor is facing two additional sexual assault charges.

40-year-old Dr. Joseph Poterucha, who is currently on administrative leave from Mayo Clinic, is now facing three total charges first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.

According to an amended criminal complaint, the two new charges were added after the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department interviewed two girls who told authorities that they had been touched inappropriately by Poterucha on multiple occasions.

The additional charges were filed Wednesday in La Crosse County Circuit Court, where Poterucha appeared virtually. Last week, Judge Scott Horne said during Poterucha’s initial appearance that there could be additional victims.

“There was a second allegation involving another young lady, and then apparently a third and, or, fourth alleged victim who are in the process of being interviewed,” Horne said Friday.

His employer, Mayo Clinic, removed Poterucha’s profile from its website, placed him on leave, and issued a statement that said they are cooperating with law enforcement. Mayo Clinic said in the statement that the charges are not related to his work at the hospital in La Crosse or involve any Mayo Clinic patients.

Poterucha, who has now relocated to Rochester, Minn., was arrested Thursday and posted a $25,000 cash bond on Friday with the condition that he not have any contact with anyone under the age of 18. Poterucha’s wife filed for divorce on Wednesday in La Crosse County, according to court documents.

His next court appearance for the additional charges is scheduled for Nov. 3 in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

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