By PAUL ANDERSON
City News Service
A former Orange County physician was acquitted today of sexually assaulting two patients under the guise of doing medical exams, but jurors deadlocked on a charge related to a third alleged victim.
After deliberating for about two-and-a-half days, jurors said they were deadlocked 11-1 on a third charge of sexual battery against David Hung Do. Orange County Superior Court Judge James Stotler declared a mistrial on the lone remaining count, but did not survey jurors on whether they were leaning toward guilt or acquittal.
Attorneys will return to court May 16 to discuss what to do with the third charge.
"I appreciate the jury took the time" deliberating, Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols said. "I'm disappointed with the outcome of the first two victims, but I certainly understand and appreciate the effort and professionalism of the jury."
A fourth victim testified Do, 43, molested her, but the former physician was not charged in that case. Her testimony was used in the trial to corroborate the other allegations.
Stotler barred similar testimony from a fifth victim before trial.
A mistrial was declared in the first trial of Do in October 2012 with jurors split 9-3 in favor of acquittal on one count and 6-6 on two other counts of sexual battery by fraud.
A 21-year-old woman who was being examined by Do in May 2008 said he suggested a gynecological exam, Nichols said.
"She was so bothered by how long he was down there that she asked him, 'Is there something wrong?' " Nichols alleged in her opening statement of the retrial.
Jurors today deadlocked on the charge related to that victim's allegations.
Do was accused of asking her if "being a virgin is a religious choice or a personal choice," Nichols said.
Another woman went to see Do in June 2008 to be treated for injuries from a car crash, Nichols said.
Do had the woman disrobe and "rubbed her nipples," Nichols said.
"She was so shocked she couldn't even tell her mother," who was with her for the exam, Nichols said.
The woman called police following the exam, Nichols said.
One woman testified in the last trial that she went to Do's La Palma office in July 2007 because she needed a patch to combat sea sickness for a ride-along she was taking with the U.S. Coast Guard as part of an internship. She testified Do touched her groin.
Do worked at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and offices in Anaheim and La Palma, and a Kaiser office in Los Angeles, when he was accused of molesting the patients between 2006 and 2008. Do's medical license was revoked by the state on April 29, 2011.
Do "fled" Vietnam and worked multiple "menial jobs" before going to medical school and "pursuing the American dream," his attorney, John Barnett said.
"Seven years ago he achieved the American dream," Barnett said. "But the American dream he worked so long and so hard for became a nightmare."
Barnett said the mother of the accuser injured in the car crash was two feet away while Do conducted the exam. The defense attorney acknowledged that his client's hands were shaking, but it was because he was a new physician who was nervous.
When the woman confronted Do about touching her breast he denied it and the patient's mother sided with the physician, Barnett said. That angered the woman, Barnett added.
"She wants to vindicate her position so she goes to police," Barnett said.
Barnett said Anaheim investigator Brian W. Hayes, son of Judge W. Michael Hayes, told the woman she had to "stack the evidence" against Do because it was too difficult to prosecute cases with just one victim. Hayes died in a plane crash in 2011.
"This echoes through the entire case," Barnett said of Hayes' alleged coaching of the accuser. "Hayes infects the entire investigation by repeating this lie he's helped to construct."
Barnett noted two of the women filed civil lawsuits.
Investigators have "changed an accident into a predator, a hunter," Barnett said.