Jurors returned a split verdict Wednesday against a Santa Rosa chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting a woman patient under the guise of legitimate therapeutic treatment.
Brian Icke was found guilty of felony sexual penetration of an unconscious person for a massage he gave a 60-year-old woman who testified he touched her breasts and vagina and made lewd comments about her body.
But the panel found him not guilty of a second felony, sexual battery by fraud, saying the woman should have known at some point in the procedure that she was being molested. Jurors instead convicted Icke of a lesser-included misdemeanor offense, simple assault.
Icke, 54, who ran Advanced Chiropractic on 4th Street with his wife, who is also a chiropractor, shook his head as the verdict was read. His wife sobbed openly outside the courtroom.
He faces up to eight years in prison and lifetime sex-offender registration at his March 7 sentencing.
"We all believed the testimony of Jane Doe and did not feel she had any ulterior motive," jury forewoman Eileen Laney of Rohnert Park said in a court hallway.
Laney said the panel dismissed suggestions from the defense that the woman fabricated the story to win money in a separate civil lawsuit against Icke.
Testimony from another woman patient who claimed Icke molested her in 1999 and made similar remarks about her body corroborated the claim, Laney said.
"It was the same M.O.," Laney said.
Icke's attorney, Chris Andrian, said he would appeal the decision. He said the split verdict raises questions about a central prosecution theory -#8212; that Icke misrepresented his services.
His chiropractor's license was already suspended. The verdict means it will likely be permanently revoked.
The assault occurred November 2011 when the woman who had been injured in a car crash went to Icke for continued treatment.
She testified Icke brought her into a closed examination room, instructed her to drop her pants and underwear and lay face-down on a table. She said he massaged her inner thighs, touching her vagina, and then unsnapped her bra.
He then massaged her breasts after she turned over and made lewd and otherwise inappropriate remarks about her body, according to testimony. The woman said she panicked at the remarks. As she left the office, she said she noticed Icke had an erection.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org