Snohomish chiropractor accused of sexually touching sufferers

SNOHOMISH – Six former patients have accused a Snohomish chiropractor of sexual misconduct at his clinic where detectives suspected Dr. Ken Parker had practiced despite a suspended license, the sheriff’s office reported Monday.

Police arrested 61-year-old Parker for examining a single number of indecent freedoms by a medical professional on Thursday. He remained in jail on Monday on $ 250,000 bail.

Marysville-based Parker has been a chiropractor since 2001. Public records indicate that the Department of Health suspended its license in late 2019 when three women reported that Parker “inappropriately” touched their breasts during visits to his clinic from 2016 to 2018.

The women accused him of making inappropriate comments and asking two patients to undress while he stayed in the room.

No criminal charges were filed at this point.

Earlier this year, Parker admitted alleging unprofessional behavior. He signed an order on January 21 st agreeing to stop practicing for at least nine months. After the suspension, he could request reinstatement under special conditions, e.g. For example, keeping a female supervisor in the room at all times and treating “currently established female patients” instead of new ones.

About a week later, a women’s insurance company referred her to the Chiropractic Health & Wellness Center at 127 Avenue C for an appointment with Dr. Mark Kossian, a chiropractor who worked with Parker.

While taking papers, the woman noticed that it was the first time she was seeing a chiropractor. Throughout the appointment, the woman believed that Dr. Kossian to be treated. But it was Dr. Parker.

She only found out when she went to the clinic afterwards because the doctor mentioned that he had been reported in the past for being touched.

According to a report by a Snohomish detective filed in court Thursday, “Parker did not offer an explanation as to why he was conducting the investigation in place of Dr. Kossian.” The woman told how the doctor started with about 10 minutes of “small talk”, then with a series of “rubbing, pinching, grasping and pulling,” according to a report from a detective.

The woman said the doctor touched her breasts several times in different positions.

At one point he gave a “meandering, uncomfortable” speech about how her spine was like a river and how mountains guide rivers, the detective wrote.

She asked him if he was referring to her breasts.

“Yes,” he said, according to the detective’s report.

He continued to touch her chest in various positions, the woman reported.

“See, it wasn’t bad, was it?” he reportedly said towards the end of the visit.

Parker said the woman was glad she understood his technique because he had been reported in the past for inappropriate touching “which, according to the detective’s report, he believed was a product of the ‘Me Too’ movement.”

The woman asked if the police report said he was still under investigation. Parker reportedly said the pandemic had made it difficult to find someone to replace him. When the appointment ended, “Parker apparently hesitated for her to leave, repeatedly referring to the fact that he had to” touch “her breasts”.

That evening the woman looked at Dr. Kossian up. Instead, she found that she had been treated by his business partner.

The woman called the police on February 3.

Weeks later, on February 23, 2021, the Ministry of Health’s ordinance was published. It was suggested that Parker had to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation before his license could be restored. If allowed to do so, the state would put him on probation for four years and he could be subject to spot checks.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s office announced Monday that Parker is facing six charges of indecent liberty, a sex crime defined by state law.

At least one criminal allegation was linked to an earlier report to the Department of Health, according to the sheriff’s office.

Other women reported inappropriate contact during chiropractic “in the past few months,” the sheriff’s office reported Monday.

“There was no sexual assault complaint against him until April 19, 2021,” Snohomish detective Stuart Gort wrote in his report last week.

Investigators have not released a more precise timetable for the allegations.

Gort arrested the chiropractor Thursday. At first, Parker reported that he remembered the woman from the January appointment, but then said he didn’t, according to the detective’s report.

Parker denied certain allegations but agreed that his technique would have placed his hands close to the woman’s breasts. He “wouldn’t or couldn’t” remember if the patient signed a waiver prior to sexual contact, the detective wrote.

Judge Thomas Wynne likely found reason to keep Parker behind bars on Friday.

A brief autobiography on the clinic’s website states that Dr. Parker suffered from back problems while working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. Chiropractic cured him with no side effects, he wrote. Later, his young son underwent spinal surgery that Parker believed cured his asthma.

“You see, I took this profession to heart so much that I had to help others in the same way it has helped me. That’s why I became a doctor of chiropractic,” Parker wrote.

On the clinic grounds, Parker spent countless hours “studying the art of manual soft tissue manipulation, which makes him truly unique in his field and a valued asset for his community.”

A Daily Herald reporter call at Parker’s clinic went to voicemail on Monday.

Snohomish detectives say they believe there might be other victims who haven’t come forward yet.

To file a report, contact the Snohomish Police Department at 360-568-0888. Or call 911.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

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