ST. GEORGE– A local chiropractic doctor who has spent the last year in prison on several felony charges appeared in court Thursday, where both sides presented arguments involving the accused's release while waiting for trial, balancing public safety against the property that the implicated are innocent up until tested guilty.
Brent Noorda, appears for his bail hearing held at 5th District Court in St. George by means of video from jail, St. George, Utah, Aug. 13, 2020|Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News Brent David Noorda, 40, who deals with 20 second-degree felony counts of sexual abuse, stood for a bail reduction hearing held in 5th District Court , where both sides argued whether the defendant's bail of $200,000 ought to be decreased. All parties made an appearance by means of video. The charges stem from an arrest in August 2019 following an examination that started at the end of July of in 2015 when a number of reports of supposed sexual misconduct were forwarded to the St. George Police Department by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The reports were sent out under the facility that Noorda's actions might be a criminal matter that ought to be reported to law enforcement for further investigation.
During Thursday's hearing, district attorney Zachary Weiland provided numerous witnesses who testified before the court in an effort to discourage Judge Micheal Westfall from lowering the defendant's bail in the interest of public security. Weiland said that rather of being reduced, it needs to be raised to $500,000, the quantity that was set at the time of Noorda's arrest.
Prosecutor Zachary Weiland argues against bail decrease throughout Brent Noorda's hearing through video feed at 5th District Court, St. George, Utah, Aug. 13, 2020|Picture by Cody Blowers, St. George News The first witness affirmed that she was a client of Noorda's for around 3 years and
likewise ended up being a staff member of the center. She testified that Noorda touched her wrongly on”lots of”celebrations. She said that as a staff member, she was consistently asked by Noorda to place on a small-size paper gown– the only size offered at the clinic– and help him evaluate his devices, which was several years of ages. She said the dress, which were bought particularly by Noorda, exposed much of not only her body however those of the clients as well. She likewise testified that throughout much of the exams, Noorda recommended that he do a pelvic exam.
Throughout cross examination, defense lawyer Douglas Terry asked if the doctor had ever carried out a pelvic exam on the individual, to which she stated “no” however included that he asked to carry out one “on almost every check out.”
Terry also inquired about the number of clients the witness referred to Noorda over the period of more than 2 years, to which the witness affirmed there were several, consisting of a teenage client. He also asked if the individual told her spouse about the unsuitable interactions. She validated that her spouse was encouraged however stated the spouse never challenged Noorda.
Upon additional questioning, the witness affirmed that they invited Noorda and his household to a Halloween celebration at their house, which Terry confirmed was during the time of work when the alleged misconduct was occurring.
The witness went on to discuss that the depth of the abuse was not realized until later on, after she was no longer a worker or client of Noorda's, and she only realized how severe the defendant's behavior wanted he had harmed among her family members. She likewise said there has been no contact with the defendant given that ended her employment in 2015.
Upon redirect, it was exposed that Noorda opposed the protective order that was eventually filed by the witness after she ended their work, and when Weiland raised the question of the gown, the witness said that Noorda's reaction had actually been that it was a shipment problem.
Another witness, who ended up being a patient of Noorda's in 2017, testified the medical professional bought testing of her hormonal agents, and when the tests were returned, Noorda informed the witness she needed a breast exam and used to carry out the examination during the check out.
The witness affirmed that after telling Noorda she would see her obstetrician for that, he continued to bring the provide “during every see,” and when she informed Noorda that she had actually the examination performed by another doctor, Noorda “ended up being very flustered, and stated I shouldn't have made such a big deal out of it.”
The witness said she stopped treatment in 2019 after Noorda “kept raising my breasts,” in addition to other problems that were unassociated to the neck discomfort that triggered her to look for treatment in the very first place. She contacted authorities after Noorda's arrest.
2 other witnesses testified to comparable occurrences with Noorda, including gos to that included him touching their breasts during more than one evaluation. Both witnesses said that Noorda's focus was on their breasts and that examinations consisted of “skin to skin” contact, and that during each of the improper contacts, the witnesses were alone with the doctor and the door was always closed.
One witness affirmed that she felt “violated” during the gos to which Noorda “would get increasingly more brazen,” adding that after she was no longer a patient of Noorda's, she was told by another doctor that Noorda's practices were not within the scope of any authorized chiropractic approaches.
Throughout cross examination with this witness, as well as the female who declared the physician consistently pushed for a breast examination, Terry asked if they ever had contact with Noorda since discontinuing treatment. Both witnesses stated there had actually been no extra contact.
When it concerned arguments related to the offender's release, Weiland began by saying that Noorda “has a specific fettish … and has actually utilized that to touch females inappropriately.”
“Why would we launch a serial sex offender back out into society?” Weiland stated, including later that “by launching him, that would be putting Washington County at risk.”
The defense countered by stating that the truth remains that Noorda has sat in jail for almost a year without being found guilty of any criminal offense, advising the court that his customer is presumed innocent up until tested guilty.
Terry also stated that Noorda positions no risk to the general public and can not practice his profession after a short-lived suspension was filed within days of his arrest by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The suspension would remain in impact until the criminal case is fixed. He likewise said his client has not attempted to make any contact with the victims and has actually been a design prisoner while in custody.
The lawyer went on to state that his customer would be electronically kept track of upon his release and has a clean criminal record prior to the present charges. He included that Noorda's trial is still months away due to court hold-ups resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said Noorda played no part in and for which he should not be punished.
When the prosecution was asked if there was any other evidence to support the state's position that Noorda positions a hazard to the public aside from the claims related to his chiropractic practice, Weiland responded by stating the accused has “the mind of a sexual predator” and that there are “many victims out there” that the state is still entering into contact with.
Furthermore, Weiland stated, there are medical records that Noorda would have access to beyond prison, records that have not even been supplied to the victims. He likewise stated that Noorda acts upon his sexual urges by preying on those who are weak and susceptible which he would look for victims beyond a medical workplace to sexually abuse.
Terry reacted by stating that his workplace was willing to turn all medical records over to the state, adding that the state supplied no evidence there were any other alleged victims that were beyond the scope of the medical practice. Nevertheless, the judge responded by saying that Noorda performed in truth hold a position of trust as a doctor and that he might possibly use that position to contact the victims or to perhaps discover future victims.
As soon as all arguments were heard, Westfall said the court's primary issues include public security, the likelihood of Noorda getting away or failing to appear in court and the risk of Noorda contacting his victims, which the judge stated there was no proof presented throughout the hearing that would support those claims.
He also reiterated that every victim either worked for or was a patient of Noorda, and he asked the state if there were any victims outside of Noorda's medical practice, to which Weiland stated the investigation is continuous and that the state believes there are other victims, which might include one that wasn't connected to the medical office.
Nevertheless, Westfall bought that Noorda be launched on his own recognizance and placed on home arrest with electronic tracking once arrangements for proper real estate were validated during the hearing.
He also imposed specifications, ordering that Noorda is forbidden from getting in touch with any of the victims and from accessing or destroying any records, and he bought special restrictions including web access.
Once the court has actually verified that these plans have been made, the accused will be launched.
The judge also told Weiland if it is warranted that Noorda be apprehended on any possible brand-new charges, then it's up to the prosecution to submit the documents.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights scheduled.