- Associated Press - Saturday, July 12, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Little Canada chiropractor charged with sexually assaulting a female patient had been allowed to keep practicing for decades after allegations of improper contact first surfaced, according to records from the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Allegations against Paul D. Thompson, 54, were investigated as far back as 1991, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported (http://strib.mn/U7KKlR ). The board put him on probation at least twice, but did not suspend his license until after he was charged with sexually assaulting a patient.

Thompson, of Vadnais Heights, was in court Friday on charges of third- and fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He left without taking questions from reporters. A message left Saturday with his defense attorney, Mike Colich, was not immediately returned.

The board suspended his license last month while the criminal case advances. A trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 25.

Board documents could end up playing a key role, as prosecutors have said they plan to introduce them as evidence.

One document from 1991 shows that Thompson was accused of inappropriate contact with several female patients and a female employee from 1986 to 1989. The allegations say he touched them or made inappropriate personal remarks.

Thompson denied the allegations but agreed not to contest them. He was evaluated by a psychotherapist of his choosing and was deemed “not a current risk to act out,” the document said.

The board ordered Thompson to stop treating females and juveniles, and he also had to leave doors open and have a staff member present on the premises at all times.

His petition to have his probation lifted was granted in 1995.

Nine years later, he reappeared before the board’s complaint panel after he was accused of improper contact with a female patient. He was re-evaluated, and the evaluator concluded that Thompson’s history of personal and sexual-behavior problems hadn’t been resolved. Once again, the board placed him on probation.

Dr. Larry Spicer, the board’s executive director, said the board tries to reconcile whether a doctor can remain in practice and conduct his or her work safely.

Spicer was asked whether the board should have taken a stronger stance with Thompson.

“Honestly, I don’t think it’s a fair question,” he said.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com