Texas chiropractor guilty on sex assault charges

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by STEVE STOLER and JOBIN PANICKER

WFAA

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

McKINNEY — A Collin County jury worked until midnight Tuesday before deciding to convict McKinney chiropractor David Allen Russell of sexual assault on four out of five alleged victims.

Plaintiffs who stayed up late waiting for a verdict shared hugs and tears in the courtroom.

Russell, 44, was found guilty of:

  • Sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by contact
  • Indecency with a second child by contact
  • Sexual assault of two adults

The sentencing phase of Russell's trial was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. He could face up to life in prison without parole.

The jury left the courtroom at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday to start deliberations on 12 different charges brought against Russell.

There was no verdict as of five o'clock, and jurors said they were willing to deliberate all night long.

Judge John Roach Jr. gave them a midnight deadline, but had asked jurors to pack an overnight bag just in case.

Since the beginning of the trial, the jury has taken two breaks and made two requests: A legal definition and a transcript of testimony given by one of the victims.

Russell, who has lost his license to practice, was accused of sexually abusing five victims, including four children.

Trial testimony wrapped up Monday, more than a week after it started.

According to prosecutor Shannon Miller, Russell was first accused of molestation by two female students at the Taylor Dance Studio, where the chiropractor and his employees taught a stretching and conditioning course. Police said the girls came forward with the accusations in November 2011.

As the investigation into the accusations continued, more alleged victims came forward.

However, Russell's attorney, Todd Shapiro, claimed the allegations initially were started by a former dance instructor who was upset with Russell after he took over her classes at the studio. Shapiro argued there isn't enough evidence to prove the allegations.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com
 

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