EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - If a doctor goes on trial for allegedly molesting 16 patients, it will not happen in his home county of Eau Claire.
Circuit Judge Michael Schumacher ruled Thursday to move the possible trial of Dr. David Van de Loo to another county.
The judge agreed there’s a “reasonable likelihood” that the 60-year-old Van de Loo cannot get a fair trial in Eau Claire. That’s due to his status in the community, and heavy publicity surrounding both the criminal and civil charges against him.
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. Some of his former patients have also filed civil lawsuits against him.
The judge and the attorneys in the case will meet on June 4th – and a trial date and location are expected to be determined at that time. A defense lawyer says a trial could run for 2 to 3 weeks.