San Diego

5 More Victims Come Forward, Accuse San Marcos Chiropractor of Sexual Battery

John Michals was arrested at his private practice on East San Marcos Boulevard on April 25.

Five more victims have come forward, accusing a San Marcos chiropractor of inappropriately touching them, NBC 7 learned Monday.

John Michals was arrested on April 25, facing one count of sexual battery, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO).

Michals is a licensed contractor at two separate locations in the City of San Marcos--one at the North County Health Services and the second at a location on East San Marcos Boulevard.

A receptionist at the second location told NBC 7's Artie Ojeda on Tuesday that Michals wasn't at the office, and would not say if he had been back to work since his arrest in April.

In March, a woman in her mid-30s told deputies she was touched inappropriately during an appointment with Dr. Michals.

Sgt. Dan Deese of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department told NBC 7's Bridget Naso that deputies believe there could be more victims out there.

During the initial investigation, SDSO said additional victims of sexual battery had come forward.

The incidents took place at the North County Health Services location, according to an SDSO official.

Detectives said they will interview the victims later this week.

James Boyd, Defense Attorney for Michals sent NBC 7 a statement Tuesday, which read, "Mr. Michals maintains his innocence. He is adamant that he has done nothing wrong or inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, victims' rights advocates are frustrated after learning that Michals' State of California Board of Chiropractic Examiners license had not been suspended.

"I think in this case an interim suspension order makes the most sense," USD Center for Public Interest Law's Bridget Fogarty Gramme said. "Because this is an accusation that is very serious and can really involve irreparable harm with sexual assault with a patient."

Gramme says that the board could have sought to suspend Michals' license at his arraignment. NBC 7 has learned that the Attorney General is now looking into the case.

“In a case like this where it’s a serious accusation and you have multiple victims coming forward it’s an important public safety matter to be able at least temporarily revoke somebody’s license until the process can happen,” Gramme added.

The calls or Michals' license to be suspended is just another example of the delicate balance between preserving due process, and keeping people safe.

"Yes, he's been charged, but he hasn't been proven to have committed these criminal acts," independent attorney Robert Vaage said. "So it's problematic in terms of interfering with his ability to make a living."

Investigators anyone with information on this case, or additional cases of sexual battery, can contact Det. Tingley at the San Marcos Sheriff's Station at 760-510-5200.

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