Teen alleges gifts led to assault
LIHUE » An 18-year-old man testified yesterday that osteopathic doctor Jon Van Cleave molested him during a regular visit at his Wailua office in early February four years ago.
The former patient, who was being treated for problems at school as well as a drug problem, told the jury that after months of free treatment and numerous gifts, the doctor put his hands down the boy's pants and "had his eyes closed" while he molested him.
But the former patient said he and his mother continued talking to the doctor via e-mail for over a year, and the boy received numerous gifts, including a monthly stipend, tuition to a private school and $10,000 in scholarship funding after the alleged assault.
"I felt I deserved it, I guess," he testified. "I felt (Van Cleave) didn't deserve to be told the truth."
Van Cleave's lawyer, Michael Green, painted the family as greedy and manipulative, willing to lie to help themselves out of a difficult financial situation. He also said that the family filed a lawsuit against the doctor soon after reporting the incident.
The ex-patient admitted lying to police originally, lying in a deposition, and even lying on the stand yesterday because, he said, he didn't understand a question.
He will finish testifying tomorrow, and prosecutors said the ex-patient's mother will be next.
The mother, also a patient of Van Cleave's, facilitated her son's e-mail conversations with the doctor. She was also in the room with the two, behind a screen and hooked up to an intravenous injection, when the alleged assault took place.
One thing that will not be heard is that Van Cleave has a prior conviction for stalking a young boy in Florida. Last week, Judge Kathleen Watanabe reversed her earlier decision to allow the conviction to be introduced into evidence, prosecutors said.