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Woman says doctor in murder case provided her hundreds of pills weekly

June 15, 2012 |  6:11 pm

A Rowland Heights doctor charged with murder in connection with fatal overdoses from prescription drugs provided one woman with hundreds of addictive painkiller pills a week and wrote prescriptions for the patient’s husband without ever examining him, the woman testified Friday.

Lana Rau said she was such a frequent visitor to Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng’s clinic through 2010 that the staff recognized her and allowed her to wait for the doctor in a storage room or an X-ray room.

Rau testified that she would meet with Tseng for two to three minutes and that the doctor would write prescriptions for both her and her ex-husband, Joseph Rau, who was never one of Tseng’s patients and had no idea that his wife was obtaining drugs in his name.

“I was becoming frightened. I was so dependent on them,” Lana Rau said of the medications Tseng prescribed.

Even after attending a detoxification program, Rau continued to see Tseng and obtain prescriptions for narcotic painkillers, including Vicodin, Percocet and Norco, she testified.

Rau testified in downtown Los Angeles as part of a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for Tseng to stand trial on second-degree murder charges. The doctor has been charged in connection with the deaths of Vu Nguyen, 28, of Lake Forest; Joey Rovero, 21, an Arizona State University student from San Ramon, east of Oakland; and Steven Ogle, 25, of Palm Desert.

She has also been charged with 20 felony counts of prescribing drugs to people with no legitimate need for the medications and one count of prescribing drugs using fraud. Tseng has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In two weeks of testimony, prosecution witnesses have said they exaggerated or lied to Tseng about suffering pain and walked away with their desired prescriptions after little or no examination.

Testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

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