CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cumberland chiropractor has had doctor’s license suspended after he was arrested on sexual assault charges, according to the R.I. Department of Health (RIDOH).
Dr. Thomas Sowa, whose practice is located on Nate Whipple Highway, was charged with three counts of felony second-degree sexual assault and a single count of misdemeanor simple assault, Cumberland police confirmed Thursday.
On three separate days in June, RIDOH learned it’s alleged that Sowa required a patient to fully undress and gave them a full body massage.
Sowa was arrested on Aug. 25, one day after RIDOH was notified of the incident.
Documents also show RIDOH has previously placed Sowa on probation twice in the past three years.
The first was in February 2018 when a patient reported she had an appointment for “back problems” and Sowa requested that she change into a johnny gown, which she did. At some point during the massage, Sowa allegedly unsnapped the patient’s bra and “exposed her breasts,” RIDOH wrote in the report.
RIDOH issued Sowa a six-month suspension, but it was stayed pending a probationary period. Sowa was required to get a licensed chiropractor to monitor his practice and randomly select four patient charges each month to review.
Sowa acknowledged that he was not a licensed massage therapist, the documents state.
The second time was in July 2020 when a female patient arrived at Sowa’s office for a scheduled appointment, then noticed the office was dark and was concerned he was struggling with a medical emergency.
Fire officials arrived and determined Sowa was not experiencing a medical emergency, but rather was “highly intoxicated” and the patient’s “chiropractic treatment need would have been very compromised,” according to the report.
RIDOH noted that under Sowa’s first probation, he was prohibited from seeing female patients without a female chaperone. The terms of that probation also required him to attend weekly counseling sessions and submit to random alcohol urine screenings.
A hearing was originally scheduled for Friday but has since been continued until Thursday, Sept. 8, according to RIDOH.
12 News has reached out to Sowa for comment and is awaiting a response.