A former physician and LDS stake president faces multiple charges of molesting two former patients and practicing medicine without a license.

Trial opened this week for John E. Parkinson, a former oncologist who was stripped of his license by the state Medical Board nearly two years ago for performing excessive pelvic exams.He was once a cause celebre, with more than 100 supporters attending his Medical Board hearings and wearing green ribbons of solidarity.

But this week, Parkinson, a father of nine, sat alone in the courtroom or with just one or two of his children as a jury was selected.

The 38-year-old former doctor faces 23 counts of sexual assault, 10 of violating drug laws and two of practicing medicine without a license. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is expected to last four to five weeks.

In early 1993, the board began investigating the complaints of a former patient who said the doctor had performed sometimes daily pelvic exams on her for nearly 12 years.

That case prompted 28 more women to come forward with similar stories. Fifteen sued for malpractice, all reaching undisclosed financial settlements with Parkinson's insurance company.

Police say that after losing his medical license, Parkinson continued to treat a mother and daughter from Vacaville who were fellow church members and family friends.

Police testified that the women came forward after Parkinson told the daughter during a pelvic exam he loved her and wanted to marry her. The women are not being identified.

Parkinson was arrested on Aug. 18, 1995. When police searched his home, they found "virtually every room was filled with controlled substances, garbage, food and syringes," wrote then-Solano County Deputy District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert.