LAFAYETTE — Lafayette chiropractor and Rensselaer native Dr. James Pucka is facing allegations of sexual harassment by a number of patients.
According to documents released recently by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, five of Pucka’s patients who received treatment at Pucka’s business, The Spine Worx in Lafayette, are accusing him of sexually harassing them while under his care. The patients in the documents are listed as Patients A through E under “Facts Supporting Clear and Immediate Danger.”
Patient A accused Pucka of saying to her in front of other patients and staff that “one of them would be getting naked by the end of the appointment,” adding it would not be him.
Pucka was also accused of looping his fingers under the patient’s bra straps and reportedly made a comment about her breasts, saying “they were the cause of her back pain.”
Patient B reported that Pucka also told her in front of other patients and staff that one of them would be getting naked by the end of the appointment and it would not be him. He also told her that the back pain was caused by the size of her breasts.
During one other appointment, the patient said Pucka questioned how she could get pregnant because of how tense she was. Patient B added that during an appointment, Pucka placed his body between her legs and “pressed his groin area against Patient B’s groin area.” Allegedly, when the patient asked if Pucka was done with treatment, he replied by asking the patient if she heard him unzip.
Patient C said she saw Pucka at The Spine Worx during her pregnancy. She alleges that Pucka touched her in an area that was sore and he asked how the patient’s husband got her pregnant “if (she) could not be touched there.”
Another patient, Patient D in the documents, is a former employee at The Spine Worx. She also claimed Pucka said “they would have to get naked” in front of other patients and staff and later commented on the size of her breasts. She added that Pucka told her “she was hot” and asked her to “let him put his hands on her.”
In Patient E’s report, she said Pucka showed her a picture of a person bound and hog-tied while suggesting the position as a possible treatment.
The same patient also said Pucka told her that a possible treatment could include engaging “in positions of a sexual nature” involving the patient’s “boy toy” for at least 12 minutes. He added that if her “boy toy” could not last that long he could assist her and pointed to his crotch.
Due to these allegations, the Attorney General’s Office is requesting an emergency hearing to determine if Pucka’s Indiana chiropractor licensed be suspended for “a period of not more than 90 days.” State officials with the Attorney General’s Office believe Pucka “represents a clear and immediate danger if allowed to continue to practice.”
The decision on whether or not to suspend Pucka’s license falls on the Indiana State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which is scheduled to meet in July. The Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to hold a hearing where parties involved can present evidence and arguments before the board’s July meeting.
Pucka has been a licensed chiropractor in the state of Indiana since 1991. He ran a business at the old town mall in his hometown of Rensselaer before moving his family to Lafayette to open a practice there.