Chiropractor's patients say they were touched inappropriately

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email
Posted By Mike Dever - email

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A chiropractor is facing charges after four women told police that Robert Matthew Nolan, 38, kissed or touched them inappropriately during treatments at Nolan Chiropractic Center in Clarksville.

Nolan is now charged with four counts of battery. Two of his alleged victims agreed to speak to WAVE 3, hoping their stories would encourage more victims to come forward.

One former patient we spoke with told us she was the first to report Nolan's alleged actions to police in 2007. She said Nolan inappropriately rubbed her under her pants.

"He started massaging my legs which had nothing to do with my back and started rubbing underneath my pants," said the alleged victim, who was 20-years-old at the time.

Prosecutors say he inappropriately touched and kissed four women, ranging in age from 36 to 16.

The first women we spoke with says "she left and I went to the front and I realized I was by myself and the secretary wasn't there. [Then Nolan] was like, 'I'll schedule you for an appointment tomorrow,' and I said 'fine, whatever,' and I left."

She never returned.

Although she's happy Nolan has been formally charged, she can't believe it took two years for that to happen.

Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart explained the reason for the 2-year delay. "Anytime there are such allegations, we need to investigate thoroughly. Many times [it] comes down to a swearing contest: he said/she said.  And, with no other evidence available, sometimes [it is] difficult to base charges on those statements."

"When you go into an office visit, you are consenting to a touching of some kind, Stewart said. "But I wouldn't say kissing on the back or touching the private areas of the patient has anything to do with the problems you went in there for."

According to court records WAVE 3 obtained, the alleged battery began in his Clarksville office in 2007 and continued until this month. WAVE 3 stopped by Nolan's office in Clarksville off of Veterans Parkway, where the battery allegedly occurred, but it was closed.

Another alleged victim told us Nolan took things too far when he touched her below her waist. "I sat up and I just curled up, like in the fetal position, and I was crying. And he came over and stroked my hair and back [and said] 'Are you OK?. I didn't mean to upset you, just trying to make you relax."

According to court documents, Nolan was arrested sometime after the fourth victim came forward.

We paid a visit to Nolan's home in New Albany to get his side of the story, but no one answered the door.

In court documents, Nolan denies the accusations made against him, and says at least one other person is present anytime he's with a patient. He says he never instructs patients to undress, and stops treatment immediately if a patient indicates they're uncomfortable.

According to an affidavit, Nolan failed a lie detector test when asked if he put his hands down a 16-year-olds pants.

"A professional is held to the higher standard and those that are sworn to be dedicated to healing, not victimizing, those that come into the office," Stewart said.

One of the women we spoke with wants him to stop practicing altogether. "I want him to be stopped; I don't know how many victims it's going to take," she said. "I [don't] want it to happen to anyone else. Two years went by and nothing was done."

This is not the first time Nolan has faced such charges - similar allegations were brought against him when he practiced in Ohio.

Nolan is currently being held in the Clark County Jail on $5,000 bond. His first court appearance was set for May 23.

If convicted of the misdemeanor battery charges, Nolan could be sentenced to two years.

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