A former University of Utah physical therapy professor accused of sexually abusing a disabled patient has settled with state licensing regulators by stipulating to undergo mental-health counseling and not to conduct private practice until 1992.
According to a stipulation and order issued by the state Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Kent George Allsop further agrees not to "meet with, work with or treat female patients" without a second party present, if he opens a private practice.But the 50-year-old physical therapist said he hasn't had a private practice in 20 years and doesn't plan on opening one. And he said the conditions of the settlement don't require him to do anything he doesn't already do.
"I have been seeing the counselor they require me to see for 11/2 years to deal with the stress of this thing," he said.
Allsop denies the charges brought against him by licensing authorities. Criminal and civil suits filed by Salt Lake County and the alleged victim have been dismissed. Allsop contends he could have won his case before the state's physical therapy licensing board, but he can't afford it.
"I am already $35,000 in debt fighting the criminal charges and this (licensing board hearing) would have cost another $15,000," he said.
The stipulation does require Allsop to meet with the board periodically to review his practice, which currently consists of contracting physical-therapy services with school districts. He said his resignation from the U. was not related to the sexual-abuse charges he faced.
In December 1989, the division issued a petition accusing Allsop of making sexually suggestive remarks to and sexually fondling and abusing a wheelchair-bound patient paralyzed by muscular dystrophy. The division charged Allsop with one count of unprofessional conduct and asked for sanctions against his physical-therapy license.
The alleged victim, a 25-year-old woman identified in the petition as M.C., also filed criminal and civil lawsuits against Allsop.
But the criminal charge of second-degree forcible sexual abuse was dismissed by 3rd District Judge David Young during the jury trial earlier this year. Young granted Allsop's motion for a directed verdict based on lack of evidence. The charge was brought three years after it allegedly occurred and Allsop had alibis for the nights it allegedly happened.
The $1 million civil suit against Allsop, the U. and the Muscular Dystrophy Association was dismissed in September after the U. and Muscular Dystrophy agreed to pay M.C. $13,000 to settle.
M.C. asked the division to dismiss its petition against Allsop because it hurt chances of settling the civil case. But Administrative Law Judge Steven Eklund denied the motion, ruling that it didn't serve the state's interest to protect the public.
Asked why the state settled with Allsop, state Department of Commerce Director Dave Buhler said a negotiated stipulation resolves the matter as well as a hearing would.
"Our purpose is to protect the public, not to get a pound of flesh. If we can handle it this way (through stipulation) and save us time and money, too, then we will almost always agree to settle, if the terms are agreeable."