Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
A former teacher at a McKinney dance studio said she contacted police after a student came to her with concerns about her chiropractic treatment.
A former teacher at a McKinney dance studio said she reported allegations of sexual assault after a student came to her with concerns about her chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractor Dr. David Russell is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. McKinney police are talking with two additional possible victims.
Police say Russell assaulted children he met at Taylor Dance Center who were receiving chiropractic care at his clinic. Russell volunteered at the studio as a stretching and conditioning teacher.
Carla Mullendore, a Taylor Dance Center instructor for five years, said she went to police after a 16-year-old girl came to her about treatment she was receiving from Russell at his clinic for a groin injury.
"She approached me and she said, 'I was at my chiropractor appointment, and this happened, and I don't think it's right. What do you think?'" Mullendore said. "And I agreed with her that, 'No, that didn't sound right at all.'"
The 16-year-old told McKinney police that Russell claimed the only way he could fix her groin injury was to massage her internally. She said he did that procedure on three separate occasions. She said she would sometimes make excuses and say she was having her period to avoid the procedure.
In response, Russell told detectives "that in the commission of being busy, it is very likely that he touched the [victim's private area] and that it's possible that he would place his hands on the inside of her panties on skin for traction purposes."
Police said no such procedure is taught at the chiropractic school where Russell graduated from.
The second victim, a 13-year-old, also described a similar treatment for her pulled groin.
"Oh, it makes me very sad ... because there is just so much hurt in all of it for the girls, everything," Mullendore said. "It's just a really sad situation."
Mullendore, who said she no longer teaches at Taylor Dance Center, said she has been the target of a backlash since she first reported the case to police. She did not want her face shown on camera.
"As a teacher and an adult, it's my obligation to report things that don't sound right to me, and it certainly didn't sound right," she said.
The owner of Taylor Dance Center posted a letter on her website hoping to reassure parents and hired attorney Oscar Gonzales.
"She is torn by the knowledge that even possibility that one of the children in her care was targeted by a predator," Gonzalez said.
NBC 5 reached Russell by phone Wednesday night. He reiterated that the allegations against him are false and baseless. He also directed NBC 5 to his attorney, who did not return calls.
He is free from jail on a $200,000 bond.