Source: Google News
By Becca Robbins / The Columbian
A former Battle Ground chiropractor pleaded guilty Wednesday to rape and indecent liberties charges for having sexual contact with patients.
Mark S. LaRue, 70, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to third-degree rape and indecent liberties without forcible compulsion, under the health care provider prong. The indecent liberties charge listed seven victims who were assaulted between 2014 and 2017.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on the charges in February. Prosecutors did not indicate their sentencing recommendation, but the standard sentencing range for a third-degree rape conviction is 15 to 20 months in prison. A judge ordered LaRue to be jailed pending his sentencing.
LaRue was the owner of Battle Ground Family Chiropractic at 713 W. Main St., Suite 201. He was arrested in June 2017, accused of touching a 22-year-old woman and her 47-year-old mother in a sexual manner during massage appointments in April and May of that year.
In late July 2017, the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed additional charges to include six new victims. More than a dozen women contacted police after news of LaRue’s arrest, but nearly half of the new cases fell outside the statute of limitations to press charges, according to the prosecutor’s office.
State officials suspended his practitioner’s license in August 2017.
LaRue was charged with one count of second-degree rape and eight counts of indecent liberties without forcible compulsion.
LaRue has a history of complaints investigated by both the Battle Ground Police Department and state health officials.
LaRue told police that in 2003 he was investigated by the Battle Ground Police Department for allegedly inappropriately touching a female patient. Investigators contacted the Department of Health and learned that there were actually three complaints filed against LaRue with similar allegations. But police said there was insufficient evidence at that time to charge him.
LaRue was first issued a Washington chiropractic license in December 1997. He was issued an Oregon license in July 2002.