The state has suspended the license of a Ferndale chiropractor accused of sexually touching three patients without their consent, the Department of Heath announced Friday, Sept. 2.
The incidents occurred from 2009 through 2016, according to the department’s statement of charges.
While the state Department of Health investigation referred to three patients, Terry Ray Rouse, 55, has been charged with three counts of indecent liberties by a health care provider for allegedly touching two of those patients.
He owns Rouse Chiropractic Clinic at 2068 Vista Drive.
The first case detailed by the state involved a woman, a licensed massage therapist, who started going to Rouse for treatment in 2009 after a vehicle accident.
The two agreed to trade services.
In December 2009, Rouse touched her genitals, according to the state. Some time between that month and January 2010, while getting a massage a naked Rouse rubbed against the woman and then ejaculated on her.
Details of the incidents involving two other female patients, for which he’s facing charges of indecent liberty, include:
▪ At a session in spring 2015, the chiropractor placed his fingertips on the woman’s abductor muscles, in the inner thigh, according to charging papers filed by the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Then he moved his hands to her genitals, where he sexually touched her for an extended time, she later reported. She told police she “froze, felt dizzy, ashamed, shocked and overwhelmed,” and she left the room crying.
She believed it was an isolated incident, so she didn’t report it – until another woman came forward. In the meantime, she continued to go to Rouse for treatment. Two other times, she reported, he touched her sexually without consent.
▪ On June 8, police were called when a woman in her 30s went to St. Joseph hospital for a sex crime examination. She said Rouse massaged her that day, and touched her genitals, the charges stated. She, too, felt paralyzed and embarrassed.
Rouse has 20 days to ask for a hearing to contest the suspension.
His trial is set for Dec. 5 in Whatcom County Superior Court.