With jurors unable to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared Thursday in the trial of an Orange County doctor accused of molesting three female patients under the pretense of performing medical exams.
The jury deadlocked 9-3 in favor of acquittal on one count and 6-6 on the other two counts of sexual battery by fraud against David Hung Do. One juror said some on the panel leaned toward acquittal because they thought there was enough reasonable doubt.
Defense attorney John Barnett said he would file a motion to have the charges dismissed on grounds that no jury could convict Do, who was ordered to return to court Nov. 9.
The 42-year-old Riverside resident worked at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and offices in Anaheim and La Palma, and at a Kaiser office in Los Angeles, when he allegedly molested the three women between 2006 and 2008.
One alleged victim, identified in court as "Christina R," testified she went to see Do -- whose license to practice medicine was revoked by the state in April 2011 -- because she needed a patch to combat seasickness for a boat ride with the U.S. Coast Guard as part of an internship.
She choked up as she testified that Do was "very friendly, smiley," when he started his exam on July 27, 2007, at the La Palma hospital.
When Do asked if she had any congestion, she said she had a cough a couple of weeks earlier. Do used a stethoscope to check her breathing and then started touching her near her armpit and left breast, the witness said.
Without explanation and without a glove, Do moved his hand down her shorts and her underwear to touch her groin for up to four seconds, she testified.
"I can only describe it as shock, numb," she said of her reaction. "I was just thinking there's no nurse in the room and he doesn't have a glove on. I wasn't really processing what was going on. I was with a doctor, you know?"
Another alleged victim, identified as "Jessica M," had a doctor's visit with Do on June 22, 2008, after a traffic accident, according to Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols.
During the examination, he touched her breast and "manipulated" her nipples, Nichols alleged.
"Jessica is in shock and she gets mad," Nichols told jurors. "She thinks, 'Why is he touching my breast? There's nothing wrong with my breast.' "
She confronted Do and was so angry that she left in tears and went straight to her brother's home, where she called police, the prosecutor said.
Barnett told jurors that Anaheim police helped shape the testimony of the alleged victims to "stack the evidence" against his client.
Barnett told the jury that an Anaheim police detective told Jessica her allegation of Do touching her breast would not be enough to make a case against the doctor.
"Rather than investigate, he tells her what she needs to say to make a case," Barnett alleged. "We need to stack the evidence, he says."
The defense attorney said Do had shaky hands during his examinations because he was just beginning his career in the United States. Do began his medical studies in his native Vietnam and studied medicine in the U.S. for 18 years before becoming a resident in 2007, Barnett said.
"He's an unseasoned doctor and he's just starting out," Barnett said. "He's unsure of himself."
-- City News Service