MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Little Canada chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting a patient still has an active license to practice. That means right now he's still allowed to see patients during the investigation.
Paul Thompson was arrested two weeks ago after a patient told police he raped her and had touched her inappropriately before. Thompson has been disciplined in the past for having inappropriate contact with patients. For years, a term of his probation was that he couldn't be alone with them.
Thompson didn't have much to say about the sexual conduct charges against him.
"I haven't talked to anyone, so I'd just rather not talk to anyone," Thompson said.
A 27-year-old female patient alleges Thompson raped her during an appointment in early May. The criminal complaint states Thompson admits to his actions and apologized for them.
A note on Thompson Chiropractic says he's out of the office, but according to the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Thompson can still practice.
"As an American citizen, they have constitutional rights, and so we can't just go in and kick their doors down and stop them from practicing," Larry A. Spicer, D.C. said.
Spicer is the executive director of the board over licenses. He says sexual complaints are given top priority, especially in a field where close contact is common.
"The doctor needs to let the patient know what they're doing. They need to get the permission of the patient to do that. If the patient has questions, those questions need to be answered," Spicer said.
Spicer said a patient has the right to ask for someone else to be in the room during an exam, and can ask if their chiropractor has been the subject of a complaint or disciplinary action. They can also look online, but you might not find all the information you're looking for.
"If there's a previous background, then that information is online, certainly they can seek that out. But if there's an ongoing investigation at that time, then yes, it is possible that the public may not know during the time we're investigating," Spicer said.
Thompson was disciplined twice before for inappropriate contact with patients, going back to the late 80's. He was placed on probation and had to have a third party in the room during exams. Those stipulations ended in 2009.
All sexual complaints are also turned over to the Attorney General's office. According to Spicer, there are 3,000 licensed chiropractors in the state. The board receives about 150 to 200 complaints each year. Two to 3 percent of those are sexual in nature.
If a patient feels uncomfortable, Spicer recommends first talking with the chiropractor. If that doesn't resolve the issue, a patient can file a complaint. There are forms online.
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