ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — An Elk Grove chiropractor has been arrested and charged with sexual assault after an investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Ruiz faced a judge for the first time Tuesday at the Sacramento County Superior Court.

“We call him ‘Doc’. Everybody calls him ‘Doc’,” Hemanth Prasad said.

For the past five years, Prasad and Ruiz have had a strong friendship.

“It’s been good. We’ve become friends, and we play racket ball together too, a couple times a week. He hasn’t been to the racket ball for a while because he didn’t feel too well,” Prasad said. 

The two work right next to each other in Elk Grove. So, when Prasad heard that Ruiz had been arrested, it was the last thing he would expect from his dear friend.

“I was shocked. Totally shocked,” Prasad said.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ruiz on suspicion of three counts of sexual assault charges. The sheriff’s office also notes he is a working chiropractor and had numerous clients and patients under his care.

According to the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Ruiz is still a licensed chiropractor.

“I would never imagine he would ever do anything like that, and I don’t think he would, but it’s not my judgment,” Prasad told FOX40.

The people who work close to Ruiz said they’re not only shocked by his arrest but also by the charges he faces.

“He seems like a pretty family-oriented person. We always talked about our kids. He’s got three to four kids,” Prasad said.

Ruiz was arraigned on Tuesday, and while it has been difficult for people like Prasad to come to terms with, he hopes his friend ‘Doc’ can be honest with him.

“I hope this is a mistake,” Prasad said.

The sheriff’s office said this is still an ongoing investigation and urge anyone with more information to contact them.