Chiropractor Charged With Decades Of Sexual Assault On Amish Girls & Women

From the Kansas City Star:

A suburban Kansas City doctor for decades sexually assaulted women and girls, mostly from Amish communities, under the guise of performing routine breast and pelvic exams, prosecutors said Monday.

David B. Clark, 70, of Independence, was charged with six felonies in Jackson County Circuit Court based on a long-running investigation led by the FBI. He is accused of assaulting patients at his Health+Plus clinic in Oak Grove, a town of about 8,500 people, 30 miles east of Kansas City.

As to what Clark is alleged to have done, more details can be found at the story link above. Warning, a lot of it is truly stomach-turning.

Exploiting the vulnerable

The story in fact dates to last summer, when Clark’s offices were raided by the FBI. Few details were given in that reporting however.

Clark’s offices were raided in June 2022. Image: KCTV5

Many Amish people are steady patrons of chiropractors. This may take the form of regular visits to a local practitioner, or home visits. Some even travel significant distances for treatment.

Doctors (and those in “doctor-like” professions) of course are acting from positions of authority. And for someone from an Amish background, I’d imagine this sense of authority would be amplified. Not only is this a person from a learned (or supposedly learned) outsider profession, he is also not from the Amish culture. His ways are not Amish ways.

Likely this is an even more advantageous position from which a predator can exploit victims.  If he does something strange…well maybe that’s just the way it’s done in this profession. Such a person can more easily take advantage of naïveté and lack of knowledge about the world. And it goes without saying, that’s even more the case when it’s children. More from the story along those lines:

Authorities allege Clark concealed the sexual abuse from his patients by saying his actions were medically necessary. He also “targeted” girls and women from Amish communities who would have little if any experience with a gynecologist or obstetrician, the affidavit says.

Marketing health to the Amish

It should be noted that not all of his victims were Amish, but it appears most were. Clark seems to have gotten well-ensconced in the places he operated. Here’s more on how Clark marketed himself to Amish communities:

While Clark was licensed as a chiropractor, his Health+Plus clinic advertises a variety of services under the banner of a “holistic alternative health and wellness center.”

Its website, parts of which were inaccessible Monday afternoon, offers general wellness consultation and diagnosis based on “latest scientific methods” paired with “traditional approaches.”

Clark presented himself to patients as a “naturopath,” according to the FBI affidavit, promising a style of medicine that Amish people are often drawn to. No such classification exists as a medical license in Missouri.

Screen shot from the Health Plus website, the clinic where Clark worked

For a variety of reasons alternative medicine appeals to many Amish. And this sounds like just the type of practitioner that can get a foothold in Amish circles. Once you are in, and you have references to family and other community members that have used your services, business will grow.

Clark was apparently popular not just in the area, but around the country. From last summer’s story on the raid:

“They come by train, they have drivers,” said Moon.

Sue said it’s a well known fact Clark is very popular with the Amish.

“They come here from all over the country,” said Moon. “They stay for a few days a lot of the times. The whole family will come so – we’ve seen all ages.”

The other odd thing, looking at his mug shot, Clark has an Amish-like appearance, with a beard and a shirt that looks like what an Amishman would wear. Visual touches to put his clientele at ease and build trust?

David B. Clark of Health Plus. Image: Jackson County Detention Center

How did Clark operate for so long?

Clark was allegedly at this a long time – sounds like for over 30 years:

Charges filed against Clark concern five women, four of whom were minors at the time of the alleged abuse. The earliest criminal allegation dates to July 1999, though authorities allege Clark is believed to have committed similar crimes against “dozens of victims” since the 1980s.

One of the former patients, identified as Victim 1, recalled visiting Clark for the first time when she was under age 14. She said the doctor acted in a different manner depending on whether her mother was in the room.

I admit I also wonder why it took so long for this to be discovered. Don’t get me wrong. That’s not to say it’s easy to come out with these allegations. I’m sure it’s anything but that.

But it sounds like Clark operated in the community over multiple generations, with many victims. Thankfully someone here had the courage to bring this to light.

This is a sickening story and I hate to think it, but it makes me wonder how many other cases like this might be out there in Amish communities.


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    1. Harold

      Scam artist

      Doctors of Chiropractic do not have medical training.
      This man is neither a naturopath nor a physician.
      But apparently, that was not an issue for many of his Amish patients.

    2. Liz Bourgeois


      Agh! My stomach turns and reading this article…not to mention the heartbreak when I think of the years this went on, the women and the children…the CHILDREN! I believe there is a special place in Hell for those who abuse children and the elderly. I can absolutely see this happening in many other Amish communities. It’s no wonder they want to remain separate…I do too after reading this! Just absolutely heart-wrenching…

      1. K.D.


        This comment is for Harold. Please do not say that chiropractors do not
        have medical training. In fact, they ALL do. Just not in the techniques
        used in “Western” medicine. I have seen 4 chiropractors in 30 years after a
        horrible car accident. Without the help of a chiropractor, I wouldn’t even
        be walking today. When it comes to chiropractic care or surgery, I’ll take
        chiropractics ANY day. Treatment is gentle and non-invasive. I’m sorry if you
        have not been successfully treated by a chiropractor, but please do not lump
        them into the same category.

    3. Ann the Least

      Glad I can't read the article

      The downside to the rigid turning of the other cheek is that there is never “if you see something, say something” and sometimes in the most egregious instances, as this obviously is. i wonder about the relative levels of obedience among the people who patronized this creepy man. It seems as if people are sufficiently trained that it’s sinful to speak up, a man like this can get away anything. Though that can be seen as part of the deal of being a Christian.

      1. Flowe

        Condoning evil isn't part of the Christian world-view

        This is still alleged rather than proved; however, some of the principles can, I think, be discussed without assuming guilt on the part of a particular person.

        I am not clear what the Amish would say on this point, but as a Christian philosophy graduate I would comment that while violent or forceful resistance to evil is correctly at least much more limited in Christianity than in many ways of thinking (how limited is not clear and thought on this varies widely between different Christian groups) it is never right to condone evil or to become complicit with it.

        Though I would emphasise that that being from a different culture and not understanding what is being done to you for what it is, is NOT in any way being complicit. I am never clear why some Christian groups will not speak much about “marital relations” and related: it does not seem to me to follow the example of scripture, which is always explicit at need.

        The Lord submitted to be crucified, but at no point did He say it was a right action on the part of those doing the wrong.

        Christian obedience is a very difficult subject: one seems to run into paradoxes wherever one turns, and my guess would be that this is probably genuine – i.e. part of the fact that evil is incoherent.

        Anyway, prayers for all involved: hope the truth, at least, does become manifest now.

    4. Lacrisha D


      This article, though it’s troubling, is very necessary. I live and work within a large Amish community and see every day the number of these “Naturopaths” promoting their massage, chiropractic, and natural remedies. The Amish really trust these people and are totally at their mercy – I feel most of the time they are taken advantage of, and I wish more than anything that there were more government oversight of their practices.

    5. J.O.B.

      Bad people can exist in all walks of life. Teacher. Doctor. Trusted neighbor. Anywhere. Anyone.

      That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn/educate yourself and never be afraid to ask questions….even of authority figures, to help you identify something wrong instead of assuming its ok.

      Listen to your instincts. We have them for a reason.

    6. Greg Stutzman

      He looks like the Grossdaudy in “Witness”! If the allegations are true, as I suspect they are, I’m glad they finally caught up with him.

    7. Ann the Least


      Chiropractic is based on a 19th century philosophy of physiology with no basis in reality. Sure, an “adjustment” makes you feel better. Temporarily. The “adjustments” cause damage and the concommitant release of endorphins. Long-term a person is better off with nothing. Look at it this way, if it really worked why does everybody have to keep going back?

    8. Kensi Blonde


      Why did it take so long to be discovered?? Hello, you just listed all the reasons! The Amish children are very unlikely to know what a regular gynecological exam entails, especially if this is their only doctor. Additionally, even if they DID sense something was amiss, they likely wouldn’t share it with their Amish parents. You know very well why. And even if, the one extraordinary child who a) somehow knows this approach isn’t standard; b) gets up the nerve to tell their mother— then you will very likely contend with a mother who dismisses it, or tells the girl she’s imagining things or it is her fault.

      There, did I answer your question?!

    9. Kensi Blonde


      I totally misunderstood. Since when do chiropractors do routine breast and pelvic exams? A gynecologist does these. So even the adults didn’t have a clue what a chiropractor is supposed to do? Are these poor girls even taken to gynos?! Probably not.

      1. LR

        They don't.

        Kensi Blonde, they don’t. Chiropractors don’t conduct breast and pelvic exams. This man was not a Chiropractor by definition, he was a predator.

    10. Bert


      sickening thats all i can type right now