By Jeffery Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
CORNING - A man charged last June with third-degree sexual abuse for allegedly inappropriately touching a female client at his East First Street chiropractic office pleaded guilty Tuesday to disorderly conduct, a non-criminal offense.
Jeremiah Wright, 32, will pay a $100 fine, a $150 surcharge and was issued a one-year order of protection of Wendy Hammond, the woman who told police that Wright made improper contact, that was not suitable, while she was a client at Wright Choice Chiropractic.
Hammond, who works at a local community college, was upset by the verdict and was not allowed by Corning City Judge Mathew McCarthy to speak during the court hearing.
“I have never been involved in anything like this before, and never once imagined that I would be,” Hammond said moments after the court case. “Last year I was sexually abused by my chiropractor. Saying those words, sexual abuse, out loud is very difficult for me to do.”
Wright was not able to be reached after the court case and his office phone was not answered Tuesday afternoon.
John Speranza, Wright’s attorney, told McCarthy that Hammond should not be able to speak at court because Wright pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and the original misdemeanor sexual abuse charge was dismissed.
“He was unequivocally saying this is not a sexual offense,” said Christina Sonsire, Hammond’s attorney. “In fact, he even went so far as to say Wendy Hammond was removed from the disorderly conduct (plea) even though there was an order of protection that was issued.”
Hammond said this matter completely eroded her trust in both medical providers and the criminal legal system.
“Wright was my chiropractor,” Hammond said. “I have been treated with chiropractors on and off for about 20 years for problems I have with my back. Treating with a chiropractor requires a great deal of trust, as it usually involved the removal of most items of clothing.”
Hammond said she never had any concerns about chiropractors in the past and fully trusted Wright.
“However he violated that trust in the most selfish of way,” Hammond said. “Wright sexually abused me. Going to talk to law enforcement about what happened was an extremely difficult decision.”
Corning Police investigated the matters.
“I participated in a controlled call with Wright,” Hammond said. “It took a lot of courage for me to do it, but I agreed because again I wanted to make sure no one else ever had to go through this.”
Sonsire spoke after Wright’s court case outside of Corning City Hall along with Hammond and Stacey Brzezinski, and a letter written by Angeleen McCullen, about the importance of sexual cases throughout the area, and questioned the Steuben County District Attorney’s effectiveness.
Brzezinski and McCullen were patients involved in a recent case against a Guthrie Physical Therapist Gregory Parfianowitz, who was accused of sexually abusing four of his patients.
Amanda M. Chafee was the Steuben County District Attorney handling the court case.