By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
Disclaimer: The following story from David Allen Russell’s sexual assault trial contain witness descriptions of misconduct by the former McKinney chiropractor. Some of these allegations are extremely graphic in nature but are also vital to the case decided on Tuesday at the Collin County Courthouse.
Ex-McKinney chiropractor David Allen Russell was found guilty on five charges of sexual misconduct late Tuesday night. Russell faced 12 charges of sexual misconduct relating to incidents with five of his former patients. The 12-member jury, consisting eight women and four men, deliberated for almost 15 hours before finding Russell guilty on one count sexual assault with a child, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of indecency with a child by contact.
Russell stood with his lawyers as Judge John Roach Jr. read the verdicts aloud to the courtroom. Russell’s body slumped and he leaned on the table in front of him as Judge Roach read the first guilty verdict aloud.
The guilty verdicts stem from incidents with four of the woman who accused Russell of sexually assaulting them.
It was nearly midnight when the jury finally reached a verdict, but several of Russell’s friends and family were in the courtroom as the verdict was handed down. Several of the victims, their families, and the detectives who investigated the case were in the courtroom as well.
They had all waited nearly a year and a half since Russell was first arrested, through a week in trial and through 15 hours of deliberations on Tuesday before they heard Judge Roach revealed Russell’s fate.
After Judge Roach announced the jury’s decision on each of the counts, he revoked Russell’s bond and remanded him directly into the custody of the Collin County sheriffs. Russell was immediately taken away.
The jury found Russell not guilty on some of the other charges, including aggravated sexual assault with a child. That charge could have landed Russell in jail for life.
One victim claimed that Russell sexually assaulted her as both a child and as adult. The jury found that Russell did not commit indecency with a child in her case, but that he did sexually assault her as an adult.
Russell was also found not guilty of the three counts of sexual misconduct involving the young female victim who is mentally disabled. She testified in court that he broke her tailbone by pressing his finger into her anus.
Russell’s accusers had all testified that he sexually assaulted them during treatment sessions in his office. Russell was accused of inserting his fingers into several women’s vaginas during treatment sessions, as well as grabbing their breasts and other offenses.
Collin County prosecutors Shannon Miller and Crystal Levonius were able to use the victims’ testimony to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Russell had committed these crimes and the jury found Russell guilty.
Throughout the trial, Russell’s defense attorney Todd Shapiro tried to poke holes in the victims’ stories. He called several of Russell’s former employees who testified that they were in and out of Russell’s office all day long, on any given day. Each employee said that they never witnessed Russell sexually assaulting anyone and that the victims’ demeanor never changed after a treatment session with Russell. Shapiro questioned the timeline of each of the alleged assaults, claiming there were no eyewitnesses to the crimes.
But the victims’ all testified that Russell sexually assaulted them with his office door open and that no one ever came in during their treatment sessions. And Miller reminded the jury in her closing argument that the victims were the only eyewitnesses the jury needed to find Russell guilty of sexual assault.
The jury was sent to deliberate just after 8:30 a.m. and they deliberated throughout the day and late into the night. At several points during their deliberations, the jury asked for copies of witness testimony because they had a disagreement over a particular charge. But after 15 hours of deliberation, they found Russell guilty on five charges.
The trial will now enter the punishment stage as the jury members begin to deliberate how stiffly to punish Russell for his crimes. The prosecution and defense will call witnesses to testify about the types of punishment that the jury can levy against Russell. Testimony in the punishment phase of the trial begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Collin County Courthouse.
The State of Texas vs. David Russell
Jury selection and opening statements were held Monday, April 15. If you’re interested in following this trial but missed earlier stories from the witness testimony, you can click to read them below.