KC area chiropractor dies before trial in Amish sex abuse case

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A suburban Kansas City chiropractor accused of sexually abusing dozens of Amish patients over the course of 40 years has died, according to an online obituary.

A suburban Kansas City chiropractor accused of sexually abusing dozens of Amish patients over the course of 40 years has died, according to an online obituary, roughly three months after Jackson County prosecutors first filed charges against him.

David B. Clark, 70, of Independence, has been free on bond since September while awaiting trial on six felony sex crimes. He died Jan. 14 of heart failure, according to the obituary.

Authorities say Clark sexually abused women under the guise of performing routine pelvic and breast exams. The criminal case was investigated by the FBI.

Clark ran a medical clinic called Health+Plus in Oak Grove, about 30 miles east of Kansas City. Women who were patients reported that Clark touched them without gloves, stimulated them sexually while describing the act as “treatment,” and gave exceedingly long breast exams that appeared to arouse him.

Jill Kantazar, an attorney representing two women in a civil case against Clark and his clinic, said her clients “are extremely disappointed the criminal case against David Clark can no longer move forward.”

“They are grateful to the FBI and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for investigating and criminally charging Clark with the sexual abuse he committed,” Kantazar said in a statement to The Star.

Some said the abuse began when they were girls, including at least one younger than 14. They only became aware of what had happened to them years later, according to an FBI affidavit in support of criminal charges filed last year.

Clark catered his practice to the Amish specifically, advertising himself as a “naturopath” physician versed in alternative medical treatments. He allegedly preyed on women from Amish communities because of their unfamiliarity with modern procedures that would be performed by a gynecologist or obstetrician.

Prosecutors in late September filed charges of sexual abuse, sodomy and statutory sodomy for alleged crimes dating back to 1999. The criminal charges were based on the accounts of five women, though authorities believed Clark had abused others between the 1980s and 2021.

Federal agents raided Clark’s medical clinic in 2022. Among the evidence recovered was a draft for a book, according to the FBI, based on a doctor who is sexually gratified by performing examinations on female patients.

A $250,000 cash bond was posted shortly after Clark’s arrest. Conditions of his release from Jackson County jail included GPS monitoring and a court order to stop practicing medicine.

A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Feb. 15. As of Monday, Jackson County prosecutors were awaiting official confirmation of Clark’s death before taking action to dismiss the charges.

Since the allegations against him first became public, Clark was named as a defendant in a civil case brought by two women who say they were abused by him.

Both women, who filed the lawsuit confidentially, were from out-of-state Amish communities and said they came under his care as a trusted doctor. They only became aware of the abuses they suffered in recent years, according to the lawsuit.

Kantazar said her clients and other victims still have an avenue through civil court “to seek justice for the trauma Clark caused over many years.”

“We intend to continue to vigorously pursue this case and hold David Clark and his clinic responsible, in spite of his death,” she said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comment from the attorney representing two women who allege David Clark sexually abused them at his medical clinic.

This story was originally published January 22, 2024, 9:20 PM.

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Bill Lukitsch covers breaking news for The Star. Before joining The Star, he covered politics and local government for the Quad-City Times.

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