LAFAYETTE — Dr. James Pucka will not have his license suspended by the Indiana State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
Pucka, a Rensselaer native, was recently accused of sexual harassment by a handful of patients under his care at The Spine Worx in Lafayette, and an emergency hearing by the state board was conducted last week to determine whether Pucka should have his license suspended.
Pucka could have had his license suspended up to 90 days, but the board said he is “not an immediate danger to the public” when rendering its decision.
Pucka will have to go before the board again during its regular meeting July 8.
According to documents released this month by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, five of Pucka’s patients who received treatment at The Spine Worx filed sexual harassment charges. He reportedly told a couple of patients that someone “would be getting naked by the end of the appointment,” adding it would not be him.
He was also heard to make comments on women’s breasts and was alleged to have pressed his groin area against a patient’s groin. When he was done with treatment, the patient said Pucka replied by asking her if she heard him unzip.
Another patient reported that Pucka showed her a picture of a person bound and hog-tied and suggested the position as possible treatment.
Pucka said during the state board’s virtual hearing that he used the picture as a way to demonstrate a medical procedure. He also explained his actions, stating that he was trying to keep the atmosphere light to relax patients.
Pucka said he has since taken classes on sexual harassment and discrimination. He is also never alone with patients.
Patients and former and current employees at The Spine Worx testified on his behalf at the hearing.