15 Mar 2016

Chiropractor indecently assaulted three patients

5:52 pm on 15 March 2016

A former chiropractor has been sentenced to eight months' home detention for indecently assaulting three of his patients.

Disgraced chiropractor Albert Adams

Disgraced chiropractor Albert Adams Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

Albert Adams, 79, was sentenced in Wellington District Court today, after being found guilty of three charges of indecent assault dating back to the late 1970s and early 80s.

Judge Jan Kelly says the assaults occurred at Adam's practice in Masterton over a six year period.

She said the patients - one of whom was aged under 16 at the time - were being treated for back injuries when Adams touched their groin under the pretext of clinical concern.

On one occasion, Adams pulled one of the patient's underwear down and held his penis for a few seconds without explaining why, she said.

In the second instance, Adams asked the patient to pull down his shorts and underwear before massaging both sides of his groin and handling his penis.

Adams told the third patient he would have to check his groin to make sure both tendons were the same, and proceeded to put his hands down his trackpants and under his underwear and move his penis from one side to the other, without comment, she said.

"You abused the significant position of trust in the way you indecently assaulted your patients as a health professional in a clinical setting," she said.

"You breached the trust of patients who were particularly vulnerable because of their age, and the fact they were being treated by a health professional."

She said the victims had been confused by what happened at the time, but years later, come forward after seeing an article in a newspaper about Adams being acquitted on a similar charge, she said.

In her sentencing, Judge Kelly took into account Adams' age, deteriorating health and the fact he had no previous convictions.

She ordered him to complete eight month's home detention and told Adams he could not have any contact with anyone under 16 without an approved and informed adult supervising him.