Crime

Top crime stories of 2016: Ferndale chiropractor charged with sexually touching patients

Terry Ray Rouse makes his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on July 5. Rouse, a Ferndale chiropractor, is charged with indecent liberties by a health care worker, for the alleged sexual touching of two patients.
Terry Ray Rouse makes his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on July 5. Rouse, a Ferndale chiropractor, is charged with indecent liberties by a health care worker, for the alleged sexual touching of two patients. The Bellingham Herald

A Ferndale chiropractor was accused in July of sexually touching two of his patients.

One of the women made a deal with Terry Ray Rouse, 55, to trade his chiropractic work for her massage therapy. At one of Rouse’s sessions in spring 2015, he moved his hands from her inner tight to her genitals and touched her for an extended time, according to charging papers. She told police she “froze, felt dizzy, ashamed, shocked, and overwhelmed,” and she left the room crying.

She figured it was an isolated incident, the charges say, so she did not report it until another woman came forward. In the meantime, she continued going to Rouse for treatment. She later reported he sexually touched her two other times without her consent.

On June 8, a second woman went to police to report Rouse moved his fingers to her genitals as he massaged her. She, too, felt paralyzed. That day she went to St. Joseph hospital for a sex crime examination. It turned out the second woman was a patient of the massage therapist. Days later at an appointment the two women revealed to each other their experiences with Rouse.

Rouse has no criminal record. At a meeting with detectives, he denied that anything inappropriate happened. Any sexual contact with the massage therapist, he said, was consensual. He went on to say he might have accidentally touched the second woman. He recalled apologizing to her.

He was charged with indecent liberties by a health care worker, and he posted $10,000 bond. He’s awaiting trial. Rouse’s health care license was suspended by the Department of Health in September. He owns Rouse Chiropractic Clinic at 2068 Vista Drive.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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