Multiple women contend Washington-based chiropractor fondled them during their appointments.
Prosecutors charged Dr. Kenneth Parker, 61, with eight counts of felony sexual misconduct by a health care provider in late May after 21 women accused the chiropractor of inappropriate sexual touching under the guise of medical treatment. Some charges were not filed due to the state’s statute of limitations for the crime of “indecent liberties.”
Three former patients reported to the state Department of Health that Parker inappropriately groped their breasts in 2017 and 2018. The agency charged Parker with unprofessional conduct in 2019, but he did not face criminal charges. Parker admitted to the acts, and he signed an order earlier this year agreeing to a nine-month suspension beginning February 25, 2021. However, Parker continued to see patients at the Chiropractic Health & Wellness Center while the suspension was pending and after it went into effect.
One female patient who is in her 30s reported that she visited Parker approximately four times. He reportedly told her his license was suspended but that he “was still willing to hold free appointments for friends and family,” according to court documents. The woman, whose boyfriend was in the room for the first few appointments, said he would “reach down her sternum and press on each breast.”
During the patient’s last visit on April 19, 2021, her boyfriend wasn’t there. The charges state, “Parker seemed to be paying little attention as the patient explained where she felt pain. Then during the exam, the chiropractor grasped her buttock and groped her breast. He also reached down her pants to her thigh.” The charges state, “At no point did the defendant tell the victim he would be touching any sensitive areas, nor did he ask permission to do so.”
Eight women identified only by their initials and ranging in age from their 30s to 60s, all accused Parker of similar acts. According to some of the other accounts:
“• One woman in her late 50s reported she saw Parker about 14 times between September 2018 and January 2019. He told her to undress and get into a gown. He mentioned the adjustments might be ‘better if there were no gown to deal with.
- A physician who also worked in alternative medicine reported she saw Dr. Parker twice in December 2019: He made contact with her breasts during the first exam, and then for one or two minutes two days later. He then touched other intimate parts of her body.
- A woman in her 30s told police Parker grabbed her breasts in September 2020 ‘but did not appear to be performing any sort of adjustment or displaying any technique that would help her back.’
- A woman in her 30s called the Snohomish Police Department in February 2021 to report she had been sexually touched by Parker. The woman revealed she had been sexually abused before, and she felt traumatized by the chiropractor’s actions.”
Snohomish detective Steve Gort to arrested the doctor on April 29. Shortly after, one woman sued Parker for malpractice and “extreme emotional distress due to the medical battery.”
Police reports indicated Parker had preprinted waivers he had the patients sign acknowledging their breasts may be touched during the exam. Clinic staff told police they were unaware that these existed. Prosecutors alleged the touching was “well planned and executed as shown by the ‘waivers’ which (Parker) would have created prior to his assaults,” thus constituting felony sexual misconduct.
“The defendant, even after losing his license for inappropriately touching several different patients, continued to assault women under the guise of treatment,” deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn wrote. “He has clearly shown that he is a danger to others without regard for following orders.”