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Accused Keokuk Chiropractor Challenging Patient Ban

A Keokuk chiropractor is challenging an order from the Iowa Board of Chiropractic that prohibits him from seeing female clients. Andrew Kearse said the order could force him to close his business because 75% of my clients are female.

"I cannot lose 75% of my income and still pay staff, rent, bills and maintain any kind of income," said Kearse in a district court filing seeking a temporary or permanent injunction against the order by the Iowa Board of Chiropractic. "Shutting my practice down for even one month would have the effect of closing my practice permanently."

  Kearse was arrested August 18 by the Keokuk Police Department and charged with one count of simple assault, two months after receiving a phone call from the husband of one of Kearse's clients.

The husband told authorities his wife was sexually assaulted by Kearse during an appointment in which "normal chiropractic adjustments... then moved to a massage portion of the visit." From there, Kearse was accused of having inappropriate conduct with the patient.

The arrest prompted an investigation by the Iowa Board of Chiropractic. The board finished its review and issued the order against Kearse that prohibited him from seeing female patients.

The board said in its order, issued Dec. 9, that Kearse's "continued practice poses a serious and immediate danger to his female patients that cannot be addressed through any means other than the imposition of interim safeguards before the Board can reach a final decision in a contested case against him."

Kearse countered in his court finding that "the criminal charge against [Kearse] does not allege any sexual assault or assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, but only simple assault. [Kearse] has entered a not guilty plea and trial is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2016."

The Iowa Board of Chiropractic will hold a hearing regarding Kearse on Jan. 13.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.