La Crosse pediatrician charged with sexually assaulting child

Local News

LA CROSSE, Wisc. (WLAX) — A La Crosse doctor who works with children was in court Friday following an accusation that he touched a young girl in her “private areas,” according to the criminal complaint.

Forty-year-old Dr. Joseph Poterucha was formally charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. If convicted, he could face up to 60 years in prison.

Poterucha is a doctor of pediatric and adolescent medicine who also works in intensive care at Mayo Clinic; however, the alleged incident did not occur at the clinic, according to court documents.

During the court appearance, Judge Scott Horne said there could be more 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,” he said.

Horne set a $25,000 cash bond and told Poterucha he is not allowed to have contact with any minor.

Mayo Clinic released a statement saying: “Mayor Clinic Health System has been informed of the charges involving Dr. Poterucha. Mayo is cooperating with law enforcement, and information Mayo has at this time indicates the charges are not related to his care of patients. Under the circumstances, Mayo has placed Dr. Poterucha on administrative leave as it conducts its own investigation into the situation.”

Poterucha’s profile was also removed from the clinic website.

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