A local chiropractic doctor recently surrendered his license after allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with six patients.
The move came just under a year after the Virginia Board of Medicine voted to suspend Leroy Bazzarone’s license after he reportedly engaged in sexual contact or conduct that a reasonable patient would consider lewd or offensive.
A consent order from the board alleges that Bazzarone, who ran a chiropractic practice in the Vienna area, would provide services to receptionists for free and that he touched some of the women inappropriately when working with them.
The board’s doctors unanimously determined his actions were problematic and agreed on Sept. 2, 2020 to suspend his license following the incidents, which took place from 2013 to 2020.
“The Board determined that Dr. Bazzarone’s ability to practice constituted a substantial danger to the public health and safety and voted to summarily suspend his license,” meeting minutes said.
With a notary present, Bazzarone signed the consent order prepared by the board on Aug. 27, stating that he neither admitted nor denied its facts.
As part of the settlement, he waived his right to a formal hearing and his right to contest the report’s facts and legal conclusions in any future court or administrative proceeding involving the board.
For half of the patients involved, he had no record of treatment, and for others, he didn’t document all of the treatment he provided, according to the report.
Department of Health Professions spokesperson Diane Power said the settlement involves a permanent surrender of the license.
In a letter through an attorney to a Department of Health Professions investor, Bazzarone said he was retiring as of June 30, 2021. The board recorded his license as surrendered as of Sept. 1.
The reported behavior involved Bazzarone offering free treatment to women he employed as receptionists and massaging their breasts and genital areas. Sometimes, he removed their clothes or took off his own.
The Fairfax County Police Department said it has several reports involving Bazzarone on file.
According to Fairfax County General District Court records, he was arrested on Sept. 4, 2020 and charged with misdemeanor sexual battery for a Sept. 14, 2019 incident. He was found guilty and sentenced on March 11, 2021 to six months of jail. The prison sentence was suspended.
A victim described how Bazzarone would undo her bra sometimes from the back without asking her and once put his finger on part of her vagina.
The victim also described how Bazzarone grabbed her butt, saying he did so because she was applying too much pressure, which happened when he was aroused and she could see pre-ejaculate. He continued to touch her rear with that explanation, according to a police report.
He later apologized for the encounter, reported the victim.
On Sept. 3, 2020, Peter Greenspun, an attorney for Bazzarone, reached out by phone to a police officer involved in the case. Greenspun said his client would be turning himself in, and the parties met at the county’s Adult Detention Center next to the courthouse. Bazzarone was released on bond.
Following the sentencing, the record shows that Bazzarone paid a fine of $145.
One woman identified as Patient B initially saw Bazzarone as a patron when she was in high school before becoming a receptionist at his request at age 22. According to the report, he offered her free treatment when no one was present at the office and had her perform treatment on him, instructing her not to tell anyone about it.
At times when she felt uncomfortable and didn’t want him to massage her, she told him she was on her period.
During a massage in 2018, he touched part of her vagina, massaged her breasts with lotion, and touched her nipples, according to the report. He also said she was “so sexy” on one occasion and visited her apartment uninvited more than once. On one such visit, he offered to massage her at her place.
When another receptionist massaged his upper legs with lotion to supposedly alleviate pain from a sports injury, Bazzarone “would take his underwear off and cover his genitals with only a towel, which would fall off,” the report says.
He also grabbed the woman’s butt and told her it was normal if he “got excited” while she was massaging him, according to the report.
A receptionist who started working for Bazzarone as a college student in 2019 received chiropractic treatment from him at no charge after she mentioned pain from a previous shoulder dislocation.
On a fifth treatment, even though she only requested work on her upper back, he started to massage her hips and asked if she had any tenderness. Though she said there was none, he had her undo her pants and massaged the hip joint and side of her butt, saying that “hip strength was important for posture,” the report said.
The next time, he allegedly pulled her pants down without asking and moved her underwear.
“The next time she reported to work, Patient D informed Dr. Bazzarone that she was sick and declined his offer to work on her,” the report said. “Even though she refused treatment, Dr. Bazzarone massaged her neck and shoulders while she was sitting in the receptionist chair. He kept insisting that she would feel better if he worked on her, so eventually Patient D relented.”
Another woman who worked for Bazzarone several years after becoming a patient reported that he lifted up her shirt, unclipped her bra, and rubbed the sides of her breasts during treatments. He also pulled her underwear down and once twisted her nipples “to tease her,” according to the report.
When Bazzarone had the woman massage him, he told her not to tell anyone, took his pants and later his underwear off, and “pulled her hand up to where his thigh muscle attached to his pubic bone,” according to the report.
“After she experienced a sexual assault…he held off providing treatment to her, but approximately 13 months after the assault, he insisted on working on her again,” the report said. “When she refused, Dr. Bazzarone became angry and said that it had been long enough, or words to that effect.”
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