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Santa Rosa chiropractor, convicted of molesting patients and on the lam, is captured in Mexico

Santa Rosa chiropractor, convicted of molesting patients and on the lam, is captured in Mexico
Daryoush Bunyad was arrested in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Santa Rosa Police Department)

A Santa Rosa chiropractor convicted of molesting his patients was captured in Mexico last week after being on the run for two years.

Daryoush Bunyad, who went by the name Darius, was arrested Thursday in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, after a local resident called the Santa Rosa Police Department saying he had been seen living in the beach city.

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Bunyad was convicted in March 2017 of molesting eight patients, four of whom were younger than 18. Joan Kroft, a spokeswoman for the Sonoma County district attorney’s office, said Bunyad was convicted of 14 counts of sexual battery and child molestation, among other charges. He failed to appear at his sentencing hearing, Santa Rosa police said.

After disappearing, Bunyad, 39, was listed as a fugitive on the Santa Rosa Police Department’s most wanted list, and a $2,500 reward was offered for anyone with information that would assist in his capture, police said.

On Nov. 26, a Playa del Carmen resident called detectives and emailed them photographs of Bunyad in Mexico. Investigators confirmed his identity and asked the U.S. Marshals Service for assistance in capturing Bunyad. He was arrested without incident and is being held in the Los Angeles County Jail, the Santa Rosa Police Department said.

A photograph featured in a local Playa del Carmen newspaper showed Bunyad, sporting a thick beard and a T-shirt that read “American Wolf,” handcuffed between two Mexican officers whose backs are turned to the camera.

Santa Rosa police began investigating Bunyad after a Cardinal Newman High School counselor who heard a description of his treatment from a student reported the chiropractor, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. He was arrested in 2015.

During his trial, prosecutors said that between 2012 and 2015, Bunyad preyed on mostly young, athletic women and teenage girls, groping their breasts, buttocks and pubic areas, claiming it was a “whole body” treatment.

A new sentencing date for Bunyad has yet to be scheduled, Kroft said.

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