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SIMI VALLEY : Doctor Found Not Guilty of Sexual Battery

June 02, 1993|JEFF McDONALD

A Simi Valley family doctor is not guilty of sexually battering four women--including three of his patients--a Ventura County Municipal Court jury decided Tuesday.

David Lounsberry, 51, was acquitted of five counts of fondling women at his Simi Valley medical office between February and September of last year.

"For the last five months my life has changed," Lounsberry said outside the courtroom. "It's a change that has frightened everybody that knows me in the medical profession. " . . . (Colleagues) say: 'This could have been me.' "

Jurors said outside the court that there was not enough evidence to prove that Lounsberry sexually battered the women during examinations.

"I'm sure they perceived something had happened," jury foreman Rocco Serena of Simi Valley said. "There just wasn't enough evidence to find a guilty verdict."

Defense attorney Robert E. Courtney of Redondo Beach praised the jury.

"We're thrilled that 12 people would listen to the evidence and not prejudge a doctor because charges were brought," he said. "Much of this case was about the fact that most of the witnesses against (Lounsberry) read about it in the newspaper and were predisposed into thinking he was a bad doctor."

Deputy Dist. Atty. William G. Karr said he was "disappointed and surprised" by the verdict.

"In my view, there was clear evidence of sexual intent, but I respect the jury's decision," he said.

Another juror said Lounsberry's testimony helped him make up his mind.

"I was looking for something he may have said in looking for sexual intent, but it wasn't there," said Brendan McAuliffe of Port Hueneme.

Lounsberry, who still faces a review by the state medical board, could have received up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine on each count if convicted.

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