A former Juneau chiropractor facing multiple charges of sexual assault in April had additional charges laid against him this month as additional victims came forward.
Jeffrey C. Fultz, 58, was indicted with three counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of first-degree harassment on April 8, 2021. On June 4, 2021, a grand jury indicted Fultz on charges of five additional counts of second-degree sexual assault.
“Following the indictment becoming public on or around April 8, additional individuals came forward with new allegations against the defendant,” wrote assistant district attorney Jessalyn Gillum in the statement of facts, as the prosecution sought a bail review hearing. “Defendant stands accused of using his position as a trusted doctor within the (SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium) facility to sexually assault his patients under the guise of providing legitimate chiropractic treatment and massage therapy.”
The alleged assaults occurred between 2014 and 2020 while Fultz was employed as a chiropractor by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and occurred primarily against local Alaska Native women, according to court documents.
SEARHC is an Alaska Native-run nonprofit health consortium that serves communities in Southeast Alaska. The Juneau Empire previously leased office space for its editorial, advertising and circulation departments from SEARHC. The Empire still leases space from SEARHC for its press operations.
“The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is aware that Jeffrey Fultz, a federal employee who provided chiropractic care at SEARHC, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and harassment for actions that allegedly occurred at SEARHC facilities,” said SEARHC senior director of lands and property management Maegan Bosak in a statement. “SEARHC terminated Fultz’ assignment following patient complaints about inappropriate conduct. Fultz no longer has any affiliation with SEARHC.”
The organization is cooperating fully with the investigation, Bosak said. Matthew Ione, SEARHC Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, also had a statement.
“SEARHC does not tolerate any form of assault, harassment or offensive behavior. We encourage anyone who has information about these allegations to contact the authorities,” Ione said. “Due to the ongoing criminal prosecution, we cannot say anything more about this specific matter. But we want to assure our patients that they have the right to safe health care at SEARHC. We will do everything in our power to assure that is the case. There are no exceptions.”
A total of seven witnesses have come forward so far, according to court documents, six of them Alaska Native. During questioning in the course of the investigation, Fultz said he had been previously accused of inappropriate touching, while serving at a facility in Arizona in 2011 that served the local Indigenous population, according to court documents.
Fultz was given the opportunity to resign instead of being fired from SEARHC when the criminal investigation became known, according to court documents. Fultz did so in 2020 and moved to New Mexico.
On June 11, the prosecution sought further conditions in light of the additional charges, according to court documents, including a further $25,000 performance bond, his return to Juneau, electronic monitoring, and being forbidden from leaving the town, visiting any SEARHC facilities, or any contact with witnesses. The prosecution also requested that Fultz not practice any kind of chiropractic care or massage or physical therapy without a chaperone present.
“In light of the additional felony counts that Defendant now faces, the State has grave concerns regarding Defendant’s future appearance and performances as it relates to this case,” wrote Gillum in the application for the bail review. “The State fears Defendant’s pattern of assaulting female patients, specifically those who are part of the local Native community, will continue if he is not properly monitored,”
The prosecution was concerned about its ability to monitor Fultz’s behavior or enforce the conditions of release if he remains in New Mexico, according to court documents. There also exists growing concern within the prosecution about the possibility of Fultz’s incentive to flee and not return as more felony charges are laid against him.
On June 14, Fultz was ordered by Judge Daniel Schally to pay an additional $15,000 performance bond and barred from all chiropractic care or physical therapy, including massage therapy. This is in addition to previous conditions Fultz was ordered to comply with, including bail set at $25,000, surrendering his passport and not contacting any patients or victims, according to court documents.
Fultz’s next court appearance is a readiness hearing scheduled for Sept. 8, 2021. Fultz is defended by attorney Natasha Norris.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.