Little Canada chiropractor who raped client sentenced to 4 years

Paul David Thompson
Paul David Thompson

Senator questions licensing board’s procedures

A chiropractor with a clinic based in Little Canada was recently sentenced to 4 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a female client during an appointment in May.

Paul David Thompson, 54, of Vadnais Heights was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct: one in the third degree and another in the fifth degree. The fifth-degree charge was dropped per the plea agreement.

The 48-month sentence handed down by Ramsey County District Judge Leonardo Castro was the maximum amount detailed in the plea agreement negotiated in August.

Thompson will also have to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years and pay nearly $9,500 in restitution to the victim.

Charges

The criminal complaint states that a woman whom Thompson had treated "on and off" in the past told law enforcement officers that Thompson had climbed on top of her and forced her to have sex with him during a May 8 appointment. She did not tell anyone about the incident until five days later, when she told her fiancé, the complaint said.

The victim told investigators she was initially "in shock" and afraid to report the assault because she and her family had known Thompson for 10 years.

During an interview with investigators, Thompson admitted to raping the victim, and also admitted to having touched her breasts and groin area during previous appointments, the complaint stated.

Prior discipline

Thompson’s chiropractic license was revoked by the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners in June after the charges were filed.

The board had dealt with prior complaints about Thompson and had disciplined him before, including putting him on probation in 1991 and 2005.

In the 1991 probation, the board said there were allegations from 1986 to ‘89 that Thompson had "inappropriately touched and/or made suggestive or inappropriate personal remarks" to female patients and a woman who worked for him.

In 2007, the board suspended his license for two weeks and extended his probation period into 2009 because he had been found to be "treating one or more female patients ... without having a third party present in the same room at all times," which was one of the terms of his probation.

State senator steps in

State Sen. John Marty, who represents Roseville, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale and part of St. Paul, has blasted the board’s handling of the case, calling for executive director Larry Spicer to step down.

Marty said the victim’s father, one of his constituents, contacted him about the case, adding he felt "troubled" by Spicer’s comment to a Star Tribune reporter.

To the reporter’s question of whether the board could have done more to prevent the rape, given Thompson’s past record, Spicer reportedly replied it was "not a fair question."

In a letter dated Aug. 27, Marty says the board should have revoked Thompson’s license after he failed to comply with the terms of his second probation in 2007.

"When he violated the conditions of probation that were put in place in order to protect public safety, it should have been clear that the license holder was ignoring the explicit direction of the board," Marty wrote.

Moreover, Spicer’s written response to his concerns was "over-the-top inappropriate," Marty told the Review.

‘Out of touch’

In a letter dated Sept. 2 that Spicer sent in response to Marty’s original inquiry, Spicer first questions why the victim’s father contacted the legislator in the first place, instead of contacting board directly, and adds "it is simply unreasonable to draw a straight line between events in Mr. Thompson’s regulatory history and the events of May, 2014, for the purpose of making any predictions."

Later, Spicer addresses the "inappropriate touching" complaints against Thompson from 1991, taking what appeared to Marty to be an unseemly jovial approach.

"Inappropriate touching in this case including hugging patients (a practice often engaged in in those days, but which tends to be discouraged today), and kissing a patient (O.K...there is no explanation for that!)"

Spicer also states that at the probation hearing in 2007, board investigations showed Thompson failed to acquire a third-party signature on many forms stating another person had been in the room during appointments. At the time, Thompson blamed the missing signatures on the clinic’s transition to a new digital record-keeping system, and one of his staffers reportedly confirmed Thompson always had a third party in the room during appointments.

"In spite of this" evidence in Thompson’s favor, Spicer calls the lack of signatures a "minor violation" and says the board "convince[d]" Thompson to complete an additional two years’ probation, which extended into 2009.

Insensitive to victims?

Marty says he would like to see the board review its procedures and for Spicer to resign, stressing the need for victim sensitivity training for the board and the commitment to preventing a similar situation ocurring in the future.

"This is not OK," Marty told the Review. "He’s sort of dismissing it as a minor incident. To me, [his comments were] clearly out of touch with reality."

Members of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners are appointed by the governor, and in turn, the board is responsible for hiring decisions. Spicer has reportedly been with the board for more than 21 years.

Marty added the governor’s office and the attorney general are aware of the situation.

"One of the biggest things we can do as a system, or as a state, as folks who regulate the chiropractic industry, is to make sure no one else goes through this same tragedy again."

The Review could not reach Larry Spicer for comment.

Johanna Holub can be reached at jholub@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @jholubnews.

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here