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Chiropractor Arrested For Sexual Battery

Updated: Thursday, April 10 2014, 09:41 PM EDT
53-year-old Asheville Chiropractor Michael Fortini faces allegations by four women that he sexually came on to them. Fortini was arrested on one count of misdemeanor sexual battery related to allegations filed by a 23-year-old former patient. Four women have filed police reports since 2010. News 13 spoke to two alleged victims who said Fortini groped them at his office on Merrimon Avenue.

“And nothing was done about it,” said one victim who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The woman tells News 13 she went in for series of treatments at Fortini's practice after she and her husband were in a car accident. She said she had received a flier about Fortini’s practice in the mail. After several weeks of treatments, she said the chiropractor did the following:

“He asked a nurse to put my husband and I in separate rooms for the first time. And he came into my room. He got behind me just pressed his body up against mine. Went around my shoulders in between my breasts.”

The woman said she froze and that Fortini didn't say a word as he was touching her body.

A former employee who was training to be a chiropractor said she remains traumatized by what she said Michael Fortini did to her while she worked for him.

“It would turn to groping pretty rapidly,” she said. “He would grab my hips and touch my rear end and would say, oooh, you never know what could happen when we're alone together.”

The woman, a single mother said she needed the job and that she felt she could put up with the advances. But last spring, she said it became too much. She said she went to the office manager for help. “The next day I was fired. He said I was one of the best people he had in that position. And I said why am I fired and he said ‘because you're too sexy,' and another woman witnessed him saying that to me.”

While four women filed police reports, Fortini is facing just one criminal count.  

"Investigators consulted with the District Attorney (Ron Moore), and decided one count was the way to go,” said Sgt. Dave Romick, with Asheville Police. “The other reports strengthen the one charge."

Both alleged victims News 13 spoke with hope their coming forward with help other women who may have been victimized also go to police and file reports.

“I don't want this happening to my daughter,” said the second woman News 13 spoke with. “I don’t want this to happen to others going in there, who are in pain.”

By Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports

 Chiropractor Arrested For Sexual Battery

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