Anderson frowned at his former prot g as she spoke of the alleged molestation, shaking his head slightly and throwing the girl disappointed looks. His wife Kathryn, former chief of surgery at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, sat quietly outside the courtroom all day, reading a book. Anderson, 69, known as the “father of gene therapy,” is charged with four counts of continuous sexual abuse when the alleged victim was 11 years old and lewd acts when she was ages 11 through 13. He remains free on $600,000 bail since shortly after his arrest in July 2004. If convicted on all counts, he faces more than 20 years in prison. Anderson, who was in charge of the Gene Therapy Laboratories at USC that he helped create, is now on administrative leave. The young woman, a Chinese immigrant who has a twin sister, recounted a time when she was younger in which she claimed Anderson allegedly molested her in the sauna at his San Marino home. LOS ANGELES – The woman accusing prominent USC geneticist William French Anderson of molesting her when she was young said Thursday that Anderson would pretend to conduct examinations of her at his home when she was starting to go through puberty. This included not only weighing her naked and measuring her height, but also spreading apart her legs while she was naked as if he were examining her, said the now 19-year-old from South Pasadena. “He told me he was a doctor and he needed to check my development, because some girls grow right and some girls don’t,” she testified on the third day of the trial. As Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Cathryn Brougham questioned her throughout the day, the young woman, who alleges Anderson molested her from ages 9 to 13, looked slightly uncomfortable, nervously laughing in places. “He, uh, um, moved aside the bottom of my swimsuit” and orally molested her, she testified. “I remember lying there and just trying to let the heat relax me.” Incidents like this continued throughout her preteen years, the girl testified, while Anderson was tutoring her in tae kwon do, taking her to dinners alone, attending her sports practices, taking her to batting cages and letting her drive his car. She claimed Anderson let her drive on the freeway. She said he would buy her things – from soccer equipment to extravagant birthday gifts, such as a hot-air balloon ride for her and her sister on her 16th birthday. “He told me that he loved me, that I had his brain, that I was his prodigy person,” she testified. Throughout the first part of her testimony, the young woman had trouble pinning down her exact age or the time frame in which alleged incidents of molestation happened. The alleged victim spoke of how she tried to keep what was happening to her inside when she was young and how difficult that became as she grew older. “I increasingly felt like a slut, because I let him do things to me,” she said, adding that she cut and burned herself to “release” the pain she was feeling inside. In the spring of 2003, she said she told a counselor at South Pasadena High School a little about what was going on, referring to the man only as her mother’s boss. The girl’s mother was director of research at the USC lab, working under Anderson. While she was only looking for therapy, what the teenager got was South Pasadena police knocking at her door in July 2003 and questioning her. The counselor had reported the molestation, as school officials are legally bound to do. From then on, she said, everything spun out of control. “I didn’t want it to go to trial and everything,” she said. “What I really wanted was help so I wouldn’t feel so horrible. I thought my whole world would collapse.” She admitted that she lied to the police, telling them the molestation did not happen. But in September 2003, the teen wrote her mother a letter, explaining all of the alleged molestation. She said her mother helped her find a therapist. Anderson wrote e-mails to the girl in August of 2003 – presented by the prosecution – offering her everything from new soccer equipment to hair frosting to money. In a Nov. 20, 2003, e-mail, Anderson apologized for “the things I said and did,” adding that he “cannot justify or explain why” he “behaved so badly.” In later e-mails, Anderson begged the teenager not to tell for fear it would ruin his life, her, her family and even the work being done at the gene laboratories. He also threatened suicide. In draft e-mails, allegedly responding to Anderson’s, the girl asked him not to kill himself and demanded he go to therapy. She also asked for a written apology. Anderson told the girl in e-mails from late 2003 and early 2004 of his progress in therapy he claimed he was getting. He also promised the girl letters of recommendation and told her how he was writing grants for her mother, as well as trying to get her a tenured position at USC. The trial continues Monday at 9 a.m. in Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, 210 E. Temple St. in Dept. 107. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4496160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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