Alameda Fitness Center Director Gives Up Chiropractic License


The director of a popular fitness and wellness center in Alameda surrendered his chiropractic license after state medical investigators said he had sex with three patients and an employee of his company and had cited other alleged violations.

John Beall, owner of Rise Bodyworks in Alameda since 2010, surrendered his license on October 9 after the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners alleged he had sex with patients during exams between 2016 and 2018, as well. than an employee of his office.

Along with another employee, he made inappropriate comments about her breasts and whether she had been a prostitute or a stripper, state officials said.

A former patient named in the state inquiry, Kerry Kohler, sued Beall, alleging he took advantage of her to have sex when she was vulnerable during two years of examinations.

“I suffered ongoing emotional trauma and angst. I don’t wish that on anyone, ”Kohler told The Chronicle. “I am grateful to have the strong support of a community that believes in women who have been victimized.

Attorney John Winer displays an image of RISE Bodyworks owner and chiropractor John Beall outside RISE Bodyworks in Alameda on November 5, 2021. Beall surrendered his license after state officials claimed he had had sex with three patients and one employee. Winer represented a woman who filed a complaint.

Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

Beall, 51, admitted in an interview with The Chronicle that he made mistakes, but said he had ‘date’ relationships with women and the sex was consensual.

“Since I’ve slept with clients in the past, I got up and took my (punishment) and voluntarily relinquished my license,” Beall said. “I have slept with co-workers and employees over the years.”

According to the American Chiropractic Association’s Code of Ethics, having sex with patients exploits “patient trust and dependence.”

“Sexual misconduct is a form of behavior that harms the public welfare and harms patients individually and collectively,” says the ethics guide. “Sexual misconduct exploits the doctor-patient relationship and constitutes a violation of public trust. “

Rise employs around 40 people and offers chiropractic care, physical and group training, Pilates, acupuncture, massage, and more. Beall said he still owns the business but no longer makes appointments with a chiropractor despite working in the gym. The facility employs other licensed chiropractors.

In August, Robert Puleo, chief executive of the state chiropractic board, alleged 16 disciplinary grounds against Beall, including sex with three patients and an employee, as well as incorrect billing, failure to keep adequate records and unprofessional conduct. He asked the board to revoke or suspend Beall’s license.

Beall could have had a hearing before the council but decided to voluntarily give up his license, which would allow him to reapply in two years. As part of the deal, Beall agreed that the State Council “could establish a factual basis for the charges laid in the amended charge and that those charges constitute grounds for discipline.”

Lawyer John Winer stands outside RISE Bodyworks in Alameda on November 5, 2021. RISE Bodyworks owner and chiropractor John Beall surrendered his license after state officials claimed to have had sex with patients and an employee.  Winer represented a complainant who filed a complaint.

Lawyer John Winer stands outside RISE Bodyworks in Alameda on November 5, 2021. RISE Bodyworks owner and chiropractor John Beall surrendered his license after state officials claimed to have had sex with patients and an employee. Winer represented a complainant who filed a complaint.

Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

Beall’s attorney, Michael Firestone, called this a “soft admission” in which he fails to admit every allegation. He disputed “the majority of the allegations,” said Firestone, who said challenging them with an administrative hearing would have been costly.

“Dr. Beall… accepts responsibility for his unprofessionalism in blurring the lines when he has romantic relationships with colleagues and patients,” Firestone said. Beall has made proactive rehabilitation efforts to learn more about the necessary boundaries in a patient-provider relationship and is confident that he will never cross those boundaries again. “

He said Beall took classes in limits and ethics. Beall has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

In 2019, Kohler sued Beall, alleging he took advantage of her as a patient and the couple had sex over a two-year period. She alleged that her marriage was falling apart and that her father and stepfather died one after the other, which made her particularly vulnerable. She started seeing Beall after developing severe back pain in 2017.

“There is an inherent level of trust between doctor and patient,” Kohler said.

She alleged in the lawsuit that he texted inappropriate photos of himself and that the couple had sex in the massage room and his office dozens of times. They reached an agreement in May 2021.

“In over 42 years of dealing with a large number of cases of psychological injuries caused by chiropractors, doctors, psychotherapists abusing their influence, I have learned that this kind of conduct by a chiropractor can create significant injuries. Kohler’s lawyer John Winer said.

Beall said he learned a lesson and realized he had violated the ethics of his role as a chiropractor.

“I totally understand now that it’s not cool,” he told The Chronicle.

Matthias Gafni is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @mgafni


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