Mayo Clinic La Crosse pediatrician charged with first-degree child sexual assault

Dr. Joseph Poterucha, who works at Mayo Clinic Health System, appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court Friday

This story has been updated.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A La Crosse doctor is being charged with one count of first-degree child sexual assault.

Dr. Joseph Poterucha, a pediatrician and ICU doctor at Mayo Clinic Health System, appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court Friday, where Judge Scott Horne ordered him held on a $25,000 cash bond and to have no contact with anyone under 18 years old.

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Dr. Joseph Poterucha has been arrested on a first-degree child sexual assault charge. He is a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.

According to the criminal complaint, Poterucha sexually assaulted a child under 13 years old.

The complaint goes onto saying Poterucha denied the allegations in front of La Crosse police.

Prosecutors told the court they do not believe Poterucha has a criminal past, but that additional charges may be coming.

“That being said, your honor, is the State did indicate it seems to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg,” La Crosse County Assistant District Attorney Eric Sanford said.

Sanford went onto say three others have come forward to make allegations.

Mayo Clinic Health System released the following statement to News 8 Now: “Mayo 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 has been removed from Mayo Clinic Health System’s website with the pending charge.

If convicted, Poterucha could spend 60 years in prison.

He returns to court next Wednesday.

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