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Prosecutors want to use past sexual assault allegations in court

A chiropractor in Minnesota is facing criminal sexual conduct charges in connection with allegations that he had improper contact with at least one patient. Without providing any further details regarding the incident or incidents that led to the current charges, prosecutors have revealed they intend to use allegations of sexual assault against the man from the last two decades. However, the prior allegations were never brought to the attention of law enforcement, and the chiropractor did not lose his license.

This situation apparently began in 1991 when it came to the attention of the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners (MBCE) that he supposedly inappropriately touched numerous female patients between 1986 and 1989, and also purportedly made inappropriate comments. Similar allegations were made at the same time in reference to a female employee. The chiropractor denied that any inappropriate activity had taken place, but felt that his best course of action would be not to contest the matter.

The MBCE put him on probation, which included several restrictions in how he conducted his business, but did not suspend his license. In 1995, he requested that his probationary period end, and the MBCE granted his request. Around 2004 -- nine years after his probation was lifted -- he was once again accused of inappropriate contact with a patient and was placed on probation for a second time.

When the criminal charges were filed recently, his license was suspended pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings. The detailed records regarding all of the allegations dating back to 1986 are what the prosecution intends to offer as evidence to the court in the current proceedings. The chiropractor's trial is currently scheduled for Aug. 25.

Just because the prosecution wants to introduce evidence of alleged past sexual assault does not mean the court will allow it. It can be argued that those allegations -- which were never proven to be true in a court of law -- are irrelevant to the current case. The man's criminal defense team may well be building a case now to argue this fact to the court. In some cases like this, defendants will choose to fight the charges, while others may choose to negotiate a plea for a more positive outcome based on their specific circumstances.

Source: therepublic.com, "Minnesota chiropractor charged with sexual assault had earlier allegations of improper contact", , July 12, 2014

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