ST. GEORGE — A local chiropractor was arrested Wednesday afternoon after reports of misconduct launched an investigation that involved multiple interviews with four different women over the course of several weeks.
Brent David Noorda, 39, was arrested after charges were submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.
The arrest stems from an investigation that began at the end of July after a number of reports of alleged sexual misconduct were forwarded to the St. George Police Department by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing under the premise that Noorda’s actions could be a criminal matter that should be reported to law enforcement for further investigation.
According to one report, an employee alleged that Noorda would place his hand under her skirt as she went over the end of day business numbers during a daily debriefing, often apologizing afterwards, saying he was “just a little touchy.”
The employee was also a client of Noorda’s, and she also said he would make what she believed were inappropriate comments during the adjustments. According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, she told police it made her uncomfortable but because the suspect was not only her boss but also a doctor, “he was supposed to be someone she could trust,” a sentiment repeated by other women interviewed by detectives.
The employee said Noorda often made comments involving the bust size of other patients and when confronted “he would say it was for medical reasons.”
Noorda is the only doctor in the area that practices the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association – or NUCCA – method, which is designed to free the nervous system of interference by using a precise, noninvasive, gentle touch technique that does not involve twisting or popping.
Another woman came forward alleging that the doctor would give her a breast massage during nearly every one of her appointments, telling her it was to loosen up the muscle and was necessary for medical reasons. During another instance, the doctor allegedly touched the patient’s vagina and anus, the statement said, and when confronted, the doctor responded by saying “it was within his care.”
Two of the women told detectives they continued seeing Noorda because he was the only NUCCA doctor in the area, and then later, when they started seeing another doctor, they realized Noorda was not following NUCCA standards.
In more than one instance, the report says, Noorda pulled out the neck of a patient’s shirt to see their breasts, telling them he was checking their sternum for alignment issues. He even weighed a patient’s breasts “and then dropped them.”
When one patient said she was having migraine headaches the doctor discussed “woman issues” and then suggested performing a vaginal exam, to which she refused and left.
Several of the medical professionals working in the same office described to detectives Noorda’s “constant comments on his patient’s breasts as well as his employees breasts,” and that he’d even talked about wanting to do a vaginal exam on one of the patients, according to the report.
Noorda was also interviewed by police and according to the report, he denied touching or making any comments about patients breasts.
He also claimed to have followed NUCCA practices “99.9 percent” of the time, focusing on the head and neck, and rarely practicing the ART method, which is a technique involving soft tissue system/movement that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.
Later in the interview, the report states, Noorda admitted to conducting exams that he initially stated were outside the scope of his normal practices and allegedly admitted to “some of the details” the victims presented during their initial interviews.
The suspect was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility facing 20 second-degree felony counts of forcible sex abuse.
On Thursday, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing sent a press release stating the division has entered a Non-Disciplinary Limitation Stipulation and Order against Noorda, meaning that he “shall not practice as a chiropractic physician in any way or manner” until the criminal case is resolved. The division declined to comment further.
Updated Aug. 22 at 1:11 p.m. with statement from Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
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