Chiropractor accused of inappropriate touching at football game reaches plea deal
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IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls chiropractor accused by three teenage girls of inappropriately touching has reached a plea agreement with Idaho Falls city prosecutors after more legal trouble.
Aaron M. Nelson, 43, was charged with three misdemeanor counts of battery and was summoned to appear in court following the Sept. 27, 2019, Emotion Bowl, a rivalry football game played between Skyline and Idaho Falls high schools. While there, the three girls told police Nelson inappropriately touched them.
About eight months later, as the first case was going through the court system, Nelson was cited for misdemeanor driving under the influence. Investigators say on On May 30, shortly before midnight, Nelson crashed his Dodge Ram pickup into a wall along South Woodruff Avenue and Sunnybrook Lane. Investigators reported Nelson had glassy eyes and decided to perform a field sobriety test, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Nelson reportedly told police he took Seroquel, a medication used to treat mood conditions. He also said he had a drink of alcohol a few hours before. After struggling to complete the field sobriety test, Nelson was cited for the DUI.
Both cases were considered in Nelson’s plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office. In the agreement filed Wednesday, Nelson’s defense attorney Lance Schuster writes that Nelson agrees to plead guilty to three misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace amended from the battery charges. Nelson also agrees to plead guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving amended from the misdemeanor DUI.
Idaho Falls spokesman Bud Cranor explained the reasoning of the plea agreement in a statement on behalf of the City Prosecutor’s office.
“Mr. Nelson was not over the legal limit for alcohol,” Cranor said. “However, he did have alcohol in his system and had stated he was also using a prescription medication.”
Cranor also said the plea agreement came about after substantial input from (the victims) and their families.
“Sometimes people see that a charge gets changed from what it originally was and think that there is less of an impact on what ultimately happens to the defendant,” Cranor said. “That is not necessarily the case. Often times we are able to have more of an impact and see greater penalties imposed because of these plea agreements, which is what happened here.”
As for sentencing, prosecutors will recommend Nelson pay a total of $1,200 in fines and spend two years on supervised probation, according to the plea agreement. The recommended 150 days of jail time would be suspended and Nelson would also have to complete 30 hours of community service.
As part of the probation, Nelson would not be allowed to coach youth sports teams, attend any athletic events at Idaho Falls High School or any sporting event with the school participating.
“As you can see from the agreement, it is very strict in the fines, penalties and restrictions placed on Mr. Nelson,” Cranor said.
While Nelson reached the plea agreement with prosecutors, a judge still has to accept the plea agreement before sentencing Nelson.
“We are very grateful to the victims and their families helping us come to this resolution,” Cranor said “It’s critical to us that they feel like justice is done. This helps them hopefully close the door on a bad chapter in their lives and move on.”
Nelson will appear in court again on Sept. 24.