(6/19/13) The trial of an Eau Claire doctor accused of molesting 16 patients will be held in Superior, unless there's a last-minute plea deal.
Eau Claire County Circuit Judge Michael Schumacher announced the location for Doctor David Van de Loo's trial, after ruling a month-and-a-half ago that he could not get a fair trial in his home area. The trial is scheduled to begin January 21st, and it could run for up to three weeks. Bayfield, Marathon, and Washburn counties were other possible locations considered. Schumacher agreed that a trial needed to be held elsewhere due to the doctor's status in his community – and because of heavy publicity about the criminal and civil charges against him. The 60-year-old Van de Loo was charged last fall with 17 criminal counts, all but one involving first-or-second-degree child sexual assault. Authorities said he had sexual contact with male patients while serving as a pediatrician and sports medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire. Besides the criminal case, five civil suits involving seven former patients are pending. Van de Loo worked at the Mayo Health System from 1994 until he was let go last September.