Women: McKinney cops were tipped to alleged child sex assault

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 14 at 11:29 PM

Russell Chiropractic

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McKINNEY - The woman who reported her dance students were being sexually abused by a chiropractor now says she brought similar concerns up earlier this year, but was ignored by investigators.

Carla Mullendore contacted McKinney police on Oct. 12 and said two of her female students claimed they were sexually assaulted by Dr. David Russell.

Russell was charged last week with sexually assaulting two children.

Court records say he met the teenagers at Taylor Dance Studio, but the alleged abuse happened at his office.

Mullendore is a former dance instructor at Taylor Dance Studio. She said she quit her job at the studio in July, in part because of the influence she said Russell had at Taylor Dance.

Around the same time, two other instructors also left for similar reasons.

"I don't think it is any coincidence that all of us have left within a certain time period," said another former instructor, Samantha Camarillo.

She taught at the studio for years before leaving in June.

Camarillo said she was aware of the allegations being made in recent months, but claims that she and Mullendore went to McKinney police back in February when another teenager came to them, also claiming abuse from Russell.

The women said they went to the McKinney Police Department to share the concerns, but were turned away. Mullendore said she even called an investigator on the phone multiple times, but never received a call back.

"I made several tries and several avenues, and every time I tried, it was blocked," Mullendore said.

McKinney police have not confirmed if they were contacted, though department officials told News 8 they are looking into those allegations.

Russell was not employed at the Taylor Dance Studio, nor did he have any children there. The chiropractor provided services to students who needed them, and former employees said he was also in a long-time relationship with the studio's owner, Suzan Taylor.

In a letter posted on her web site, Taylor said she is cooperating with investigators.

She told parents of children at Taylor Dance that Russell was not employed by the studio and only spent six weeks with the program over the summer. But in e-mails obtained by News 8, Suzan Taylor admitted she didn't tell all of the parents about the allegations until nearly two weeks after she found out herself.

She also was critical of the teenage accusers.

"I believe that these allegations to be 100% untrue [sic]," she wrote one parent in an e-mail.

"I personally think the accusations are disgusting and believe they are being made by parties that have personal vendettas," she added.

Suzan Taylor has not returned any of News 8's phone calls over the last week. She is not facing charges in connection to the allegations.

Russell has denied the charges against him.

And those who first brought the concerns to light wonder if more could have been done to protect the children.

"It makes you sad about the events that have happened since then," Camarillo said. "It makes you feel you could have done something earlier."

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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