All remaining charges against Basalt chiropractor dropped
The Aspen Times
A district court judge Thursday dismissed the remaining criminal counts against the owner of a Basalt-based chiropractor office who had been under grand-jury indictment for allegedly cooperating with one of his massage therapists accused of sexually assaulting clients.
Dr. Dave Jensen, who was arrested in August on a 21-count indictment, no longer faces charges after the prosecution asked Eagle County District Judge Paul Dunkelman in a motion filed this week to throw out the case. Dunkelman responded with a written order dismissing the final charges.
“He’s innocent, and the case was mishandled by the authorities from the beginning,” said Kate Stimson, a Denver defense lawyer for Jensen. “And, thankfully, it’s over for him, and he shares that feeling.”
Jensen was not going to comment Thursday, according to Stimson, who said prosecutors based their case largely on grand-jury testimony from former Basalt Police Officer Thomas Wright, who “lied under oath.”
According to Aspen Daily News reporting, Wright testified during the closed grand-jury hearing that Jensen referred clients to Nathaniel Gordon, a massage therapist on contract at the Win Health Institute, while knowing Gordon’s illicit intentions.
Jensen is the founder and owner of Win Health Institute, which had been a midvalley destination for folks seeking massage therapy, chiropractic services, acupuncture, and other methods of alternative-healing. The business currently is not operating.
Authorities arrested Gordon in November 2021 on a mix of 21 misdemeanor and felony charges associated with accusations that he inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted female clients who had used Win Health Institute’s services. He is awaiting trial.
In an attempt to hold him criminally accountable for Gordon’s alleged behavior, Eagle County prosecutors levied identical charges against Jensen after the grand-jury indictment. The argument was that he had a complicit role in Gordon’s alleged crimes, though there were no accusations that Jensen had wrongful sexual relations or illegal contact with the clients.
The case against Jensen began to lose traction in December when Dunkelman tossed out four charges against him because they lacked probable cause, and the DA dropped 10 more the same month, according to accounts from the Daily News. Jensen was scheduled to appear in court Friday to face the four remaining counts. That hearing was canceled after the judge’s order.
The 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office posted a brief statement on its website about the dismissal: “The Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office is requesting that the case against Dr. Dave Jensen be dismissed — without prejudice. He originally faced several charges of being complicit in a case of sexual misconduct (by one of his employees) with clients at his WIN Institute in Basalt.”
Responding to a question about Jensen’s cooperation with prosecutors in their case against Gordon, Fifth Judicial DA spokesman John Ryan said, “We’ve spoken with the victims in this case, and they all agree in our office’s decision to move forward in this direction.”
By dismissing the charges without prejudice, the prosecution has the ability to refile the same or similar charges in the event that potentially incriminating evidence surfaces against Jensen.
That won’t happen because he is innocent of the charges, Stimson said.
“We’re just happy the case was dismissed because he is innocent,” she said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.