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Federal Way chiropractor pleads guilty to sexual contact with patients; victim speaks
Federal Way chiropractor and massage therapist Gregory Summers pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent liberties during his plea and sentencing hearing on Thursday at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Judge Mary Roberts sentenced Summers to 14 days of community service, revocation of his credentials and required him to register as a sex offender within 30 days. The King County Sheriff's Office will determine his sex offender level.
Between January 2010 and September 2012, Summers caused at least six female patients to have sexual contact with him at his office while he provided chiropractic treatment, according to court documents.
The standard sentence for indecent liberties is zero to 12 months in jail, based on the defendant's criminal history.
Summers received 78 days in prison, but the court accepted the 64 days he already spent in custody and allowed the remaining 14 days to be community service, under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.
Summers offered an apology to his patients who were harmed, including one present who gave courtroom testimony.
"S.L.," one of Summers's patients, said he touched her inappropriately between January 2010 and December 2011 and though it made her uncomfortable, Summers's treatments gave her relief from back pain.
"I assumed that he was just very thorough," S.L said in her testimony.
Her visits to Summers's office upset her significant other and was the source of stress and tension, she said. When accusations against Summers surfaced, S.L. was first panicked, then embarrassed and humiliated, she said.
"I'll never forget the look on my dad's face," she said. "I felt ashamed and stupid. I blamed myself for being so naive."
Her experience left her questioning every relationship she has with a male and makes her reluctant to seek help for her remaining back pain, she said.
"I want Dr. Summers to own up to what he has done," she said. "I want him to admit that what he did was not OK."
Though Summers pleaded guilty to take responsibility for the harm he caused his victims, he thought the contact was a normal part of chiropractic treatment, said Steve Adams, Summers's attorney. There was no force involved, nor was Summers sexually gratified by the encounters, Adams said.
"My purpose was only to use all my medical knowledge for all my patients every day," Summers said during his hearing.
In addition to no contact orders for each victim, Summers will be required to make monetary payments and restitution. He will also be in community custody for 12 months.
Summers was raised in Federal Way and was named Best of Federal Way each year between 2006 and 2012. He attended Highline College, University of Washington and earned his massage therapist certificate in Tacoma. He attended chiropractic school in Portland before settling down to open his practice in Federal Way.
Since charges were filed against him, Summers has sold his chiropractic business and has separated from his wife, Adams said.