18 Feb 2016

Chiropractor found guilty of indecent assault

4:41 pm on 18 February 2016

An elderly Wairarapa chiropractor has been found guilty of indecently assaulting three former patients.

Albert Adams, 79, faced three charges of indecent assault at Wellington District Court this week.

They arose from incidents said to have occurred at his Masterton practice between 30 and 40 years ago.

Three former patients being treated for back injuries said Adams had touched their groin under the pretext of clinical concern.

Adams had been acquitted at an earlier trial regarding a similar allegation but fresh complainants approached police after reports of that earlier trial appeared in a local newspaper.

The first complainant was a school boy at the time and said that during treatment of a back injury Adams pulled his underwear down and held his penis for a few seconds without explaining why.

Adams said he had not been practising in Masterton at the time that offence was said to have occurred.

The second complainant made a similar allegation saying Adams asked him to pull down his shorts and underwear exposing his genitals.

He said Adams massaged both sides of his groin and handled his penis.

The third complainant said he also saw Adams for treatment of a back injury and the chiropractor told him he would have to check his groin to make sure both tendons were the same.

The man said Adams put his hands down his trackpants and under his underwear and felt the tendons on the inside of his groin and then without comment moved his penis from one side to the other.

In all cases Adams denied committing the assaults and said he had no recollection of treating the patients.

He also said due to the delay in the police complaints being laid he no longer had patient records available from that time.

Adams said if it was necessary to examine a patient's groin, their underwear might have been lowered, but not far enough to expose their genitals.

In the case of the third complainant he said the man might simply have misunderstood what was happening.

Judge Jan Kelly gave her verdicts this afternoon and said all the Crown witnesses were credible and reliable and similarities in their evidence had not arisen from them discussing what had happened to them.

She said she was satisfied after hearing professional evidence from a doctor that having patients remove their underwear and touching their genitals was not part of normal procedure and would have contravened the chiropractic standards of the time.

A woman who had supported Adams all week wept as the guilty verdicts were delivered, but he showed little reaction, staring at the floor of the dock.

Judge Kelly convicted Adams on all three charges and remanded him on bail to be sentenced next month.

Adams' lawyer asked that the judge order a report looking at the possibility of a sentence of home detention.