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Cops and Courts

Physical therapist faces arraignment for alleged sexual abuse

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    Carl Erway

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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SHEFFIELD — A suspended physical therapist is scheduled to be arraigned today for allegedly sexually abusing a patient.

Carl Erway, 44, of North Ridgeville, is charged with gross sexual imposition, a felony, and sexual imposition, a misdemeanor.

Sheffield police were contacted in February by a 32-year-old woman who said she was being treated by Erway for back and leg pain at NovaCare Rehabilitation.

According to a police report, she was treated by Erway on seven occasions from Jan. 24 to Feb. 13, but at the Feb. 13 appointment, she said he “was doing things to her that he had not done in the first six appointments.”

The woman said he began to touch her in a way that “felt more like a sensual massage” while she was lying facedown on a massage table. The woman said Erway began to rub her underneath her bra and pressed his hips against her hand and was rubbing her hand with his crotch, the report said.

He also allegedly rubbed her genital area over her pants, the report said.

The woman told police she did not know what to do at the time, left her appointment when it was done and went to work.

That night, the woman told police, she received a text message from Erway, but that she had never given Erway her phone number. Erway asked the woman if she ran over the weekend, and the woman told police she did not respond to his text.

After the incident, the woman asked to be switched to a female physical therapist at the NovaCare office in Westlake.

Police interviewed Erway on Feb. 16 and said he seemed “extremely nervous and displayed a guarded posture.”

Erway told police that he’s been a practicing physical therapist since 1999. Erway denied touching the woman’s breast but later in the interview contradicted himself and said he touched the side of her breast but denied the other allegations, police said.

Erway refused to take a lie detector test, the report said.

Police found no prior violations of policy or charges of misconduct against Erway at NovaCare.

Erway resigned from NovaCare on Feb. 27. On March 9, the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers Board suspended Erway’s license to practice physical therapy.

Erway has no criminal history in Lorain County, but according to the police report, he was convicted of patronizing prostitution in Binghamton, N.Y.

Erway, who was indicted last week, is free on bond, according to court records.

Amy Ridall Campbell, senior director of communications for NovaCare, said she could not comment on the incident “as it involves patient privacy and a former employee.”

Contact Jodi Weinberger at 329-7245 or jweinberger@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jodi_Weinberger.

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