Legislature acts to ban sex offender chiropractors

Published: 2010-06-14 11:04:26
Author: Lora Pabst | Minneapolis Star Tribune | March 11, 2010

Less than two weeks after a Star Tribune report exposed a legal loophole that allows convicted sex offenders to work as chiropractors, the state Senate is moving quickly on a bill that would overturn the policy.

Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona, introduced a bill Tuesday that would expand a law that currently governs just the state Board of Medical Practice, which is prohibited from issuing a medical license to anyone convicted of a felony-level sexual offense. The bill was unanimously approved in a committee vote Wednesday night. It will be heard before the State Senate Judiciary committee on Friday.

"It's certainly a high standard that we also want applied to chiropractors," said Erickson Ropes, a registered nurse. "I think citizens would be surprised to find out that there were two sets of expectations. ... It's a no-brainer to me that we're equalizing those expectations."

Gary Hill, the Senate DFL caucus spokesman, said the measure has widespread support and is expected to pass in the Senate.

Erickson Ropes said she drafted the bill after reading the newspaper's report about Dr. Scott Fredin, who was granted a license by the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners last month even though Fredin spent two years in jail after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two patients at his practice in Owatonna, Minn.

The board revoked Fredin's license when he was convicted in 2003, but board officials approved his request to start over. He is not allowed to treat female patients without another person in the room, but he doesn't have to tell patients about his conviction. Fredin has been working in Minneapolis. His license is registered at Human Interfaces on Willow Street. Larry Spicer, executive director of the chiropractic board, told the Star Tribune in February that he thought the board would support extending the revocation requirement to chiropractors.

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