Jury finds chiropractor guilty of some sex abuse charges

Published: 2010-11-10 21:43:47
Author: TONY LEYS | Des Moines Register | October 29, 2010

A jury returned a split verdict Friday night against an Oskaloosa chiropractor accused of sexually abusing seven patients.

The jury found Jason Ebelsheiser guilty of one count of third-degree sexual abuse, two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and one count of tampering with evidence, the Ottumwa Courier reported. Ebelsheiser was acquitted on two other counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and the jury said it was unable to reach a verdict on charges involving the remaining two women.

Ebelsheiser was arrested last July, after four patients told police he had fondled or penetrated their genitals with his fingers during treatment. Other women came forward after the case became public and said he had done the same to them. He also faced a count of tampering with evidence for allegedly falsifying some of the women’s records.

Ebelsheiser, 34, denied the charges. He acknowledged during his trial that he might have accidentally touched the women’s genitals, but that he never did so purposely.
Both sides agreed that no legitimate chiropractic treatment would involve penetration of a woman’s genitals by the chiropractor’s fingers.

The jury comprised seven women and five men. Prosecutors told them that unlike some sex-abuse cases, this one was not a question of one person’s word against another’s. This case, the prosecutors said, was about seven people’s word against one person’s. Ebelsheiser’s lawyer suggested that there were connections among some of the women, and that some of them came forward with suspiciously similar stories after hearing the chiropractor had been accused of abusing patients.

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