Woman Accuses Chiropractor of Sexual Assault After Touching Her Breasts During Treatment: 'I Trusted Him'
A California woman has come forward with disturbing allegations against her chiropractor, whom she claims sexually assaulted her during treatment for back pain.
For years, Dr. Steven Moon treated Erin Martinov without incident. But one day, she says he recommended a new course of treatment.
“I was in a car accident and I was looking for some relief for some upper back pain,” she told Inside Edition. “He suggested that I come in for a full body massage. I assumed he's the doctor — he knows what he's doing. He must be doing something that’s helping my back.
She says he asked her to disrobe and get under a blanket, but what she says happened next left her stunned.
“He grabbed the blanket and he threw it off of me and said, 'Now it's time for your chest and stomach massage,'" Martinov said. "He rubbed down over my breasts and nipples, down my stomach. His hands went partially into my underwear and then went all the way back up. I was so shocked that this was happening. I wasn't sure how far it would go."
She’s not alone. An Inside Edition investigation has found cases across the country of chiropractors busted for sexual misconduct with female patients.
“All I can say is this is someone I knew and trusted and I just wanted it to be over,” Martinov said when asked why she didn't stop him.
Inside Edition’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero tried to speak to Moon on his way into his office in Concord, Calif.
"I'd like to ask you about one of your patients, who claims you sexually assaulted her during a full body massage, what’s your response to that?" Guerrero asked.
“I've never done anything illegal, or unethical or unprofessional,” he retorted.
“Sir, did she come to you for a breast exam?" Guerrero asked.
“No,” he replied.
“Then why would you touch her breasts?” she asked.
“I don’t have anything else to say to you,” he declared.
Dr. Moon pleaded guilty to non-sexual misdemeanor battery. He was sentenced to five years’ probation.
“He's her chiropractor and he's touching her breasts," Dan Horowitz, Martinov's attorney, told Inside Edition. "That’s it. It’s simple! Dr. Moon, you can't touch somebody's breasts.”
Despite his guilty plea, Dr. Moon's license shows no disciplinary action against him. In fact, he's still allowed to see patients, provided that he meets certain conditions, like stopping full-body massage treatments.
Dr. Rob Pomahac, the head chiropractor and owner of MaxHealth LA, says he's surprised Dr. Moon is allowed to see patients.
“I don't know how he's still licensed. He shouldn't be,” he said.
The American Chiropractic Association says that any patient who feels they were touched inappropriately should report the incident to police immediately as well as the state licensing board.