A former Little Canada chiropractor, Paul D. Thompson, who pleaded guilty to raping a client, was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.
Ramsey County District Judge Leonardo Castro handed down the sentence — the maximum amount outlined in a plea deal struck in August — after hearing Kelly Olmstead, an assistant Ramsey County attorney, read from a letter written by the woman who was raped in May.
“I live with this on a daily basis,” the victim wrote. “I was ashamed and disgusted …”
Olmstead also read a letter written by the woman’s sister, who said that because of the rape, her sister was suicidal, hospitalized twice and suffers depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. “It is even a challenge for her to wake up in the morning,” the sister wrote.
The judge told Thompson, 54, of Vadnais Heights, that he struggled with his decision.
Thompson attorney Michael Colich asked the judge to sentence his client to 96 months in prison but to stay that for one year in the county jail and 15 years’ probation. He noted Thompson “immediately” acknowledged his crime when confronted by police.
Olmstead argued that Thompson groomed his victim, who was especially vulnerable because of her small size (about 80 pounds) and emotional state. Thompson treated the woman for years as he developed his “gradual, calculated” plan, Olmstead said.
“It’s been about him and his needs from Day One,” Olmstead said.
A tearful Thompson apologized and said he wanted to continue therapy.
“I take full responsibility for what happened,” he said. “I’m struggling with why I did this.”
“Mr. Thompson,” Castro said, “I struggled with this … I struggled with it because I don’t know if I was able to determine your level of remorse on one hand, and on the other hand, your potential lack of remorse … I needed more, and I didn’t find it for a departure.”
Thompson will also have to register as sex offender for at least 10 years and pay $9,415 in restitution.
After the sentencing, the victim’s father said he didn’t believe Thompson’s apology. “I think he’s sorry he got caught,” the father said, adding his 28-year-old daughter, the mother of two, was doing “OK.”
Thompson was placed on probation twice by the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners for inappropriately touching female clients and a female employee. His license was revoked in June. The case has led state Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, to call for the resignation of the board’s executive director, Larry Spicer. Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708