A Washington naturopath recently charged with inappropriately touching a female patient was accused if the same thing six years ago.
The doctor who works at a medical spa in Redmond, Wash., east of Seattle, was charged this month with indecent liberties after a 29-year-old patient told police he touched her inappropriately in June during a massage and a chiropractic adjustment.
The woman was seeking treatment for back and chest pain. The 60-year-old doctor asked the woman to undress, leaving her wearing only her underwear during the treatment. The doctor had the woman lay on the exam table with her legs hanging over. During the five- to 10-minute treatment, the doctor placed his hand on the woman's vagina over her underwear.
While investigating, police interviewed a 45-year-old woman who had made a similar complaint about the doctor in 2010. She had been seeing the doctor for massage therapy and chiropractic care at another facility when she said the doctor inappropriately touched her. She reported it to police and the state Board of Health but did not wish to pursue criminal charges.
The doctor was arrested and booked into King County Jail on suspicion of indecent liberties in the June case. He was released on $25,000 bail.
A person is guilty of indecent liberties when he or she knowingly causes another person to have sexual contact with him or her or another:
- By forcible compulsion;
- When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless;
- When a victim is a person with a developmental disability and a perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who has supervisory authority over the victim or was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense;
- When the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the sexual contact occurs during a treatment session, consultation, interview or examination;
- When the victim is a resident of a facility for people with a mental disorder or chemical dependency and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and has supervisory authority over the victim; or
- When the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who has a significant relationship with the victim; or was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense.
In general, indecent liberties is a Class B felony punishable by a sentence of 10 years in prison, or by a fine of $25,000, or both.
However, it is considered indecent liberties by forcible compulsion if the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, according to the Revised Code of Washington. In that case, it is a Class A felony punishable by life in prison, or a $50,000 fine, or both.
No matter the crime or the circumstances, every defendant has a right to representation by a qualified attorney. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.