Convicted chiropractor still working

Published: 2011-05-18 06:04:46
Author: TONY LEYS | Des Moines Register | May 14, 2011

A Perry chiropractor continues to practice his craft nearly five months after being convicted of assaulting a patient by masturbating on her.

An advocate for assault victims said she is perplexed by the fact that Dr. Daniel Duffy still has his state license. "I think it's of great concern that this individual is still in practice," said Beth Barnhill, executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Abuse.

This is the second time in less than seven months that the Iowa Board of Chiropractic has allowed a chiropractor to keep his license after being convicted of assaulting female patients.

In the latest case, a woman went to Perry police on Jan. 12, 2010, to report that Duffy masturbated onto her lower back while he was adjusting her spine that day. Investigators took swabs of her back, and a test showed the presence of his semen.

Police charged Duffy with misdemeanor assault. Court records show his lawyer contended the semen might have gotten on the woman's back because Duffy had masturbated privately and then failed to wash his hands.

The woman told authorities she heard sounds of the act, including Duffy's pants unzipping, and felt the results. A Dallas County jury convicted Duffy of the assault charge on Jan. 26, 2011. Magistrate Jonathan Kimple sentenced him to a year's probation, including 80 hours of community service. The prosecutor has asked that the chiropractor be ordered to pay $1,232 to reimburse a crime victims' fund for the woman's clothing and the cost of her counseling.

In September 2010, the Iowa Board of Chiropractic ordered Duffy to have a female chaperone present when he treats women, but declined to suspend his license, noting that the criminal case was pending.

The board, whose seven members include five chiropractors, has taken no other action, and Duffy continues to practice. A spokeswoman said the board does not comment on pending cases.

Duffy, 47, didn't want to talk about why he is still able to practice. "The criminal side just finished up, so I'm sure I'll be hearing from the board soon," he said last week. He referred other questions to his lawyer, who did not respond to a request for comment.

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