Ex-Hamilton chiropractor sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for sex crimes

Former Hamilton chiropractor Stephen Boyd, who pleaded guilty to sex crimes committed against victims who are former patients and former employees, was led away in handcuffs Friday to begin serving an 11-year plus sentence.

The Butler County Common Pleas courtroom was packed to hear Judge Dan Haughey impose the sentence on the 58-year-old who defense attorneys and friends said was once a “pillar” of the community.

Boyd showed no emotion as victims and their parents, some whom were close friends with the man they knew as “Doc Boyd,” talked about the emotional abuse and haunting memories that were caused by his actions.

Originally charged with 28 sex crimes, Boyd pleaded guilty in February to two counts of sexual battery, five counts of attempted gross sexual imposition and four count of gross sexual imposition. The remaining charges were dismissed.

The 11 crimes Boyd pleaded guilty to are all third- and fourth-degree felonies. There is one guilty plea to a crime for each of the nine victims, according to prosecutors.

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Haughey sentenced Boyd to 141 months in prison and classified him as a Tier III sexual offender, meaning when released from prison he will be required to register his residence every 90 days for life.

Before sentencing, Boyd also surrendered his chiropractic license, which has been in inactive status since the criminal indictment.

Boyd’s attorney Melynda Cook Howard said he was once a pillar of the community who supported the community with “money, with his time, with his efforts, and had the support of the community,” but by his own actions lost that trusted standing.

“He is demolished,” Cook Howard said. She noted not only has he lost is practice, but his family. Boyd’s 90-year-old mother, who depends on him, will likely die while he is in prison, the attorney said.

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“He isn’t standing here without loss, he has been punished,” Cook Howard said.

Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Wagner said Boyd is a “selfish sexual abuser” and a parent’s worst nightmare.

“Serial sexual abusers hide among us and often they are very difficult to spot. The defendant Stephen Boyd is one such deviant sexual offender. But he is no longer hiding,” Wagner said. He added for years Boyd presented himself to the community and his patients as a trusted doctor for young athletes.

Any mitigation of Boyd’s crimes is “smoke and mirrors” and part of a facade he has constructed in the community for decades. “It was a front to mask who he really is, a morally bankrupt predator,” Wagner said.

Male victims, now adults, told the judge about how they looked up to Boyd as a father figure when their own fathers were not present. They said they and their families trusted Boyd, until the abuse happened.

“I have known that man my entire life. Didn’t have a father growing up,” said one victim in a quiet voice standing just a few feet from Boyd. He said Boyd took him to Reds games and concerts. “I trusted him.”

The mother of a victim said Boyd was a friend who was trusted and well liked in the community. When she learn her son had been a victim, the woman said she was in shock.

“He has been doing this since the 1990s. He is not going to change,” she said. “He has scarred so many lives.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The victims, one a woman, spoke of Boyd’s actions leading up to the abuse, such as scheduling appoints at lunch time or the last appointment of the day so that they were alone with him in the office.

They spoke of the shame and fear they felt of telling anyone because of Boyd’s standing in the community.

Judge Haughey noted before sentencing, that statements made Boyd during a presentence investigation indicate Boyd has “no iota of remorse.”

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit thanked the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office for its support and assistance in bringing the case to litigation and commended Hamilton Sgt. Joe Barker for his “exceptional investigative efforts in help securing justice for the survivors of this abuse.”

“Most importantly, I want to recognize the incredible strength and courage of the individuals who came forward to bear witness to the abuse so that others would not have to share the same thing,” Bucheit said.

The Ohio State Chiropractic Board sent Boyd a letter in February 2020 notifying him of sexual misconduct allegations by two patients dating back to 1989 and the early 1990s. Two more patients with allegations as late as 2012 were added to the complaint in June of that year.

Boyd was arrested Dec. 9, 2020 after a grand jury returned an indictment against him for allegedly inappropriately touching patients and engaging in misconduct. He has also been the subject of an investigation by the Ohio State Chiropractic Board.

The original indictment accused Boyd of committing sex-related crimes for decades. According to prosecutors, the original indictment involves crimes against eight victims who were juveniles and young adults in their late teens at the time of the alleged crimes. The alleged crimes occurred between November 1998 and December 2014.

Boyd was first charged with 12 counts of gross sexual imposition, seven counts of sexual battery, four counts of rape, two counts of attempted sexual battery and one count of attempted rape.

In April 2021, a grand jury returned an indictment against Boyd for two new counts of gross sexual imposition, both fourth-degree felonies.

The new indictment alleged charges against a victim who came forward after the initial indictment as the ninth alleged victim, according to prosecutors. According to the indictment, the new case alleges the crimes occurred between June 4, 2013 and June 3, 2016.

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