Jury trial set in sex-assault case

LIHU’E — An osteopathic doctor accused of sexually assaulting a boy in 2002 during an office visit wants information from the boy’s parents.

Dr. Jon Van Cleave last month subpoenaed the parents of the boy to see what information was used to fill out an application for Med-QUEST coverage, which is a state program for low-income residents.

On Tuesday, Michael Soong, who was standing in for Van Cleave’s Honolulu attorneys, pointed out that the O’ahu attorneys were not looking for confidential medical information.

Soong informed Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe that the application may include information about real estate. He pointed out that the application may having a bearing on the couple if they are called as witnesses to testify during trial.

Med-QUEST provides medical, mental and dental coverage for qualifying low-income Hawai’i residents through the state Department of Human Services.

An official from the Lihu’e DHS office gave the couple’s application to Watanabe. Watanabe said she will look at the application within the next few days, and determine what records to turn over to Van Cleave’s attorneys.

According to court records, the subpoena asked for any and all Med-QUEST applications for eligibility and benefits, disclosure of assets, as well as an itemization of all benefits paid.

Van Cleave’s jury trial is set for March 6.

Van Cleave was indicted in April 2004 on one count of third-degree sexual assault. According to the one-page indictment, Van Cleave allegedly assaulted the couple’s son Feb. 1, 2002, during an office visit, when their son was 13 years old.

According to court records, Van Cleave, 57, was arrested at his house in Kukui’ula in April 2004. He is free after posting $10,000 bail.

Court records show that he has been in the state for at least 10 years. Court records also show that he graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa.

In related court action, the boy’s parents filed a civil suit against Van Cleave in February 2004. The couple claimed intentional infliction of emotional distress, and that Van Cleave assaulted their son.

According to the lawsuit, the boy’s mother went to see Van Cleave for chronic fatigue beginning about June 2001. Two months later, he told her that her son would benefit from treatment as well.

On the day of the alleged assault, Van Cleave put the boy’s mother behind a screen in his office so that she could not see what treatment her son underwent, a normal procedure, according to court records. After the treatment ended, the boy ran from the doctor’s office, according to court records.

The couple also claimed that Van Cleave provided useless and unnecessary medical treatment so that he could see their son.

In response, Van Cleave filed a countersuit, and claimed the boy’s mother did not express dissatisfaction with Van Cleave when she was a patient of his.

Additionally, Van Cleave pointed out in his counterclaim that, although the boy’s mother left Van Cleave’s care in February 2002, she sought medical advice for herself from him, an indication of her continued faith in him.

In his countersuit, Van Cleave said he also offered to pay for the boy’s tuition at a private school, and did so.


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