Charges separated in LaFuria case, trial slated - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Charges separated in LaFuria case, trial slated

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

At long last, Lake Charles OB-GYN doctor Peter LaFuria has a trial date, but only on some of the charges against him.

LaFuria is alleged to have taken photos of women in the exam room without their knowledge or consent.

LaFuria's case has been slated for trial on Monday, Nov. 5.

Numerous charges of video voyeurism against LaFuria have been stymied in a quagmire of defense motions which allege that photos on a computer were improperly seized by law enforcement.

The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office disputes that, but has decided to go forward on battery and molestation charges which do not necessarily hinge on the photos.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier said if convicted of battery and molestation of juvenile, LaFuria could be sent to prison for many years.

There are 78 sexual battery counts and five molestation charges against LaFuria, each involving a different victim.

"In addition to the video voyeurism charges, we have approximately 78 counts of sexual battery and molestation of a juvenile.  We are severing those sexual batteries and molestation charges from the other charges so that we can get to trial quicker.  Judge Ritchie has, in fact, signed a motion to sever and assigned us a trial date," DeRosier explained.

DeRosier said prosecutors will start with 20 cases when they go to trial.

Attorney Ron Richard, who represented hundreds of patients in civil suits, said the women are angry that LaFuria has not been brought to trial yet.

"Basically, the women that I represent, which is in the hundreds, have just articulated that justice delayed is justice denied. And they've been extremely upset that this thing has not gotten to the point where he's sitting at the defense table in a courtroom," Richard said.

Despite this, Richard said he thinks the women will be pleased that a trial date is scheduled.

"I'll tell you that this wonderful decision made by the district attorney's office to sever the battery charges and molestation charges and move forward with those separately is just going to make these women ecstatic," he said.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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