McKinney chiropractor gets 23 years in prison for molesting patients
Original Article by , Dallas Morning News on April 24, 2013
Updated at 9:50 p.m.: District Judge John R. Roach Jr. ordered that two sentences be stacked, so Russell must serve 15 years for his conviction on sexual assault of a child and then serve eight years in the indecency with a child by contact conviction. “What you have done to these victims is atrocious by any means,” Roach said. “Witht he doctor/patient relationship that takes it to a whole other level.”
A McKinney chiropractor was sentenced to 23 years in prison late Wednesday after his conviction on multiple counts of sexual misconduct involving patients.
David Allen Russell, 44, was convicted late Tuesday on two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by contact involving four patients.
He was eligible for probation on four of the five counts. The fifth charge involved a girl who was 13 at the time of the crime, so the minimum sentence possible was two years in prison.
Russell showed no visible reaction, and the 50 or so people gathered in court for the verdict were quiet as the punishments were read. Jurors issued different sentences for each count, ranging from eight years to 15 years.
Judge John R. Roach Jr. ordered that two sentences be stacked, so Russell must serve 15 years for sexual assault of a child and then serve eight years for indecency with a child by contact.
“What you have done to these victims is atrocious by any means,” Roach said, adding that the doctor-patient relationship took what he did to a whole new level.
Russell gave a brief statement, saying, “I am sorry for the pain I caused everybody. I didn’t mean to create any pain and agony on folks.”
The jury deliberated nearly five hours before reaching a decision on punishment.
Jurors heard Wednesday from nearly three dozen witnesses hoping to influence punishment, including former patients who were not involved in the case but described inappropriate touching or instances of being molested. Others who spoke were relatives and friends who asked for leniency for a man who’s already suffered enough.
Russell is dying of kidney failure, his longtime girlfriend, Susan Taylor, told jurors Wednesday.
She didn’t name his disease but said there was no cure and said he’d been given five years to live. A lengthy sentence would be a death sentence for him, she said.
But prosecutors urged jurors not to be swayed by Russell’s illness.
“What he did was unforgivable,” prosecutor Shannon Miller said.
Miller noted that there were many victims over a long period, starting in the mid-1990s.
“There are consequences,” she said, “and it’s time to pay them.”
Several women delivered victim impact statements after the verdict.
“We didn’t ask to be victims,” one woman told Russell. “You gave us no choice.”
Several women testified earlier that they didn’t report what happened to them out of fear or embarrassment. Some thought it had happened only to them and didn’t think there might be others. Others just tried to put it behind them.
One woman said Russell told her that no one would believe her. Her complaint with the office manager went nowhere. Another filed a report with McKinney police over what happened to her in 2003. They didn’t take her seriously, according to the police report on file.
“I’m glad I was believed,” a 27-year-old woman testified Wednesday during the punishment phase. Jurors convicted Russell of sexually assaulting her in 2005.
Russell was also convicted of sexual assault of a child related to a 19-year-old who told an adult about what happened to her. That adult went to police.
“He needed to be stopped, and it was my calling to stop him,” said the 19-year-old, who was 16 at the time she was molested and suffers from anxiety attacks as a result.
The victims in this case are not being named per a court order.
Russell declined to testify before sentencing Wednesday. “I don’t have the energy to do that,” he told the court. He wanted to make a statement, but Roach advised that that would open him up to cross-examination by prosecutors.
Defense attorney Todd Shapiro asked jurors for mercy in their sentence. And Russell’s older brother, Joe Colburn, told jurors Russell had already lost his livelihood, his business and his reputation.
“He will not survive incarceration, not even a short one,” Colburn said.