VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A local holistic doctor was arrested and accused of sexual battery after two sisters complained about their experience in his office.
Michael Courtright was arrested back in May for two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery charges after an investigation began in November when there were allegations of sexual misconduct.
Lawyers representing Michael Courtright said he has been a fully credential naturopathic physician in the state of Vermont – they say he’s been licensed since 2009 without a complaint.
According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians these types of doctors take a holistic approach to medicine with a focus on preventing illness with exercise, nutrition and wellness. They said they treat the whole body and the person’s lifestyle.
Courtright has an office in Virginia Beach.
Last November, court records show that a mother contacted authorities after her two daughters saw Courtright for a visit.
Records stated that the girls claim he had them fill out a questionnaire on their past sexual history, sexual abuse and their amount of masturbation.
Then alone in a room – records said that he examined both women separately.
In one case – they accused Courtright of giving both women a pelvic exam while talking about masturbation.
The two sisters had back to back appointments and records said the second sister said she wasn’t comfortable with a full body because her mom wasn’t in the room and she did not want a pap smear because she was not sexually active.
Records stated, “Courtright told her to ‘drop her top’ and put her hands on her hips and ‘be proud’ of her nice body. He told her to stand still and move her hands so he could check symmetry of her breasts." It said when Courtright was giving the pelvic exam, one sister "felt pain."
Records stated that she said Courtright said, “I hope you don’t have nightmares about an old man seeing your v*****.”
News 3 reached out to Courtright and his attorneys who issued the following statement:
“Stephen Pfeiffer and Adam Carroll would like to make the following statement on behalf of their client.
Dr. Courtright is a fully credentialed naturopathic physician in the state of Vermont. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct method of primary healthcare, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness. Dr. Courtright has been licensed since 2009 without complaint.
Dr. Courtright vehemently denies any allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and looks forward to his day in court.”
Courtright is scheduled for court on July 31.
Naturopathic Physicians are not licensed in the state of Virginia.
News 3 met up with two doctors from the Natural Path practice who were disturbed by the allegations.
Naturopathic Doctor Carl Fusco read the court documents said it is bizarre to be giving internal exams to women, “that to me so far out in left field that it has nothing to do with naturopathy.”
Fusco’s business partner Naturopathic Doctor Diana Pengitore was also upset by the allegations.
She said it is “very upsetting because it reflects all naturopaths.”
They say they would not have clients take their clothes off and give them internal exams or discuss a patients sexuality.
“There are places and doctors that specialize in women's health and they should go to those people,” said Fusco.
According to the American Association of Naturopathic defines a Naturopathic physician as, “Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment. Naturopathic physicians work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners. Visit our Professional Education page to learn about naturopathic education.”