MAYFIELD -- A judge declined to revoke a former Mayfield chiropractor's probation Tuesday, determining not enough evidence existed to prove he was practicing medicine when a court order prohibited it.
Dr. Stephen Douglas McAdoo said in Graves Circuit Court that the reason a friend and former patient of his was lying on an adjustment table June 30 was because the table had a hydraulic leak, and he needed the weight of a larger person on the table to adjust the tension appropriately.
McAdoo pleaded guilty to third-degree abuse and received a 12-month sentence Jan. 22, with 90 days to be served in jail and the rest on probation. As part of the plea deal, McAdoo agreed he would not practice chiropractic medicine in Kentucky until after Oct. 23, 2018. He also agreed to attend sex education classes with a counselor for a year and to not commit any new offenses.
Stephen Linton, identified in court Tuesday as the man on the table when a police officer walked into the closed clinic, said he had contacted McAdoo to buy CBD oil from him and agreed to meet him at the office on Saturday, June 30.
"Dr. McAdoo said while you're here would you mind coming back and helping me adjust this table? I'm having some problems with it," Linton testified.
He had just gotten onto the table when Mayfield Police Officer Brian Adams walked through the door, alerted by McAdoo's ex-wife, who had seen McAdoo's car in the parking lot and gotten a text from their teenage son, who was with his father, saying his father was adjusting a patient.
McAdoo said his son made an assumption that was incorrect, as did the responding officer.
Adams testified telephonically from Louisville, where he was going through training, that he heard the adjustment table make a noise that he associated with a person receiving a chiropractic adjustment. He also saw a man on the adjustment table and McAdoo walking around him.
When Adams asked McAdoo what was going on, McAdoo told him he was "just checking someone out." The interaction was caught on Adams' body-worn camera, which was shown in court. The video also shows Linton lying face down on the table in the distance.
McAdoo had a different explanation for the comment, saying, "What I was talking about was simply checking the table with him on it."
Bryan Wilson, one of McAdoo's attorneys, asked Adams, "Did you ever witness Dr. McAdoo with his hands on the gentleman on the adjustment table?" Adams said he did not.
Gary Haverstock, McAdoo's other attorney, questioned Linton, who said he continued to lie on the table during McAdoo's conversation with Adams because he has stage four cancer, walks with a cane and would have had trouble getting off it on his own. He looked and saw McAdoo was speaking with a police officer but could not overhear from the treatment room what they were talking about, he said.
McAdoo also produced his own video, of himself on the adjustment table, showing that the table makes a noise from the weight of someone on the table, not just during a chiropractic adjustment.
Special prosecutor Mark Blankenship said McAdoo changed his story multiple times and that if the officer misunderstood what was going on, "Then why on earth wouldn't you alert him to that fact?"
He said McAdoo could have shown the officer the tools he had out to work on the table or asked the officer to talk to Linton.
"It never ceases to amaze me how people will try to explain away something," Blankenship said.
Graves Circuit Judge Tim Stark listened to the testimony, asked questions of his own and watched the videos before making his ruling.
"I think Mr. Blankenship has made a good case, but I think you've muddied the waters," he told Wilson before denying McAdoo's bond revocation.
He also cautioned McAdoo, however.
"There's a naval phrase, 'You sail too close to the wind,'" Stark said, meaning that a person has behaved in a manner on the verge of being dangerous, improper or illegal. He added, "I think that's what you were doing."
Wilson said he was uncertain whether McAdoo would seek to reopen his practice on Paris Road now that he is past the one-year period during which he could not practice chiropractic medicine.