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Crime & Courts

Kendall judge to Yang attorneys: be ready for October trial

Special prosecutor Lorinda Lamken, far left, defense attorney Alison Motta, and Dr. Haohua Yang appear before Kendall County Judge Timothy McCann on Sept. 11.
Special prosecutor Lorinda Lamken, far left, defense attorney Alison Motta, and Dr. Haohua Yang appear before Kendall County Judge Timothy McCann on Sept. 11.

The judge in the case of a Yorkville doctor accused of abusing his patients is ready to go to trial after months of delays, whether the attorneys are ready or not.

In court Monday morning, Kendall County Judge Timothy McCann told the defense attorney for Dr. Haohua Yang and a special prosecutor who was assigned to the case last month that there would be no further delays in the case and that all parties should be set to go to trial in October.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin on Sept. 13, but in the past several months there have been changes to both Yang's defense counsel and the prosecutor in the case.

In February, defense attorneys Robert and Alison Motta of Aurora took over Yang's defense from attorneys Terry Ekl and Terence Gillespie.

Nemura Pencyla left the State's Attorney's office in August to take a position with Ekl's law firm. As a result, the State's Attorney's office requested that the prosecution be handled by the Illinois Office of the State's Attorneys Appelate Prosecutor.

Lorinda Lamken of that agency's special prosecution unit appeared in court Monday.

Alison Motta was in court Monday to defend Yang.

On Monday, both attorneys also asked for time to go over documents related to the case, but McCann gave them a deadline. He noted the original trial start date of Sept. 13.

"I'm anticipating we're going to trial in two days, so I'm not sure how any of this request for records is going to come into this," McCann said.

Lamken said she and Motta would be "in agreement to move this to a later trial date" so they could go over the records in the case.

McCann noted that Yang is being held without bond in Kendall County Jail, and that he is innocent before proven guilty and has the right to a speedy trial.

"The issue that I have is, and I guess I'm the only person who seems concerned about this, is Dr. Yang is being held on a no-bond situation," McCann said. "No one else seems to be concerned about that. I find that to be quite stressful to me, because he is, as we all know, presumed to be innocent of all charges against him and yet he has no ability to post bond. And nobody seems to be concerned about that but me."

McCann said he understood the position of the special prosecutor, who was assigned the case just last month.

"I understand that you're new to the case, I understand that there's a lot of discovery, I understand there's probably thousands of documents needed to be gone through, and if you tell me you're not ready for trial in two days, I generally understand that," he told Lamken. "But I can pretty much assure you guys will be number one on the October docket and I don't really care what else you have planned. I really don't care."

Motta told McCann she was scheduled for a trial in Kane County in October, but that she would let the judge in that case know.

"Good, because unless that person's being held on no-bond, this case is going," McCann said.

When she asked McCann what she should tell the judge in Kane, McCann offered to speak to the judge directly by phone.

Also during the hearing, McCann addressed a motion by Motta for the purpose of gaining access to Yang's alleged victims' medical records, prescription records and psychological or psychiatric records. McCann said the request was "broad."

"To me the statements that she made to other persons, those statements themselves may be something we can inquire into, but I'm not going to open up her prescription history, psychological history, or medical history to a bunch of us lawyers digging through it," McCann said.

The judge added it is "completely violative of common sense and the law" to open up those records.

McCann told Motta if she wants to narrow her request to statements the victim made to medical providers related to the incidents, he would be willing to allow the records to be inspected privately in judge's chambers.

"But I'm not going to give up anything more than that," he said.

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