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Psychotherapist sexual exploitation: A survivor speaks out

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on January 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm

The sexually scheming psychiatrist, continually angling to seduce yet another female patient, is a well-deserved stereotype.  One could merely chuckle knowingly about the sex-obsessed sociopaths that make up much of the psychiatric industry were it not for the lives they ruin with their unethical and illegal behavior.  And, while some people think that such psychotherapists exist only on television’s “In Treatment” or other entertainments, current reports filed with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) by female patients show that such conduct is happening right now, in present time—maybe even to someone you know.  It is a misdemeanor/felony in many states and is otherwise the basis for civil lawsuits that should be pursued vigorously.

In no other area of health care is the patient in such a state of emotional vulnerability as when they visit a psychiatrist or psychologist.  It is a relationship in which the patient can be most easily exploited and manipulated.  Because of this, the professional codes of the American Psychiatric and American Psychological Associations prohibit sex with patients.

But too many practitioners do not heed these codes.  This is well understood by government and law enforcement: as of 2004, there have been more than 25 statutes enacted to address the increasing number of sex crimes against patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Israel.

“Pushing me under when I was already drowning”

In his 2001 report, “Sex Between Therapists and Clients,” Kenneth Pope, the former head of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association wrote: “The health care professions at their earliest beginnings recognized the harm that could result from sexual involvement with patients.  The Hippocratic Oath, named after a physician who practiced around the fifth century B.C., prohibits sex with patients.” The Oath states, “I will come to the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons…”

Melissa R., of Washington State, originally sought help from a psychiatrist for alcoholism.  She contacted CCHR in March 2009 to report the psychiatrist for engaging in sexual contact with her. “He very much seeded the therapy sessions with sexual innuendo and escalating boundary violations.  I am a victim of sexual abuse.  I was sexually assaulted/raped…when I was 5 or 6 years old….  What he did to me was essentially pushing me under when I was already drowning.  He had the power to help me, and I still struggle to understand why he didn’t.  Between the drugs and the sex, this man nearly killed me.  My question is whether he is predatory or inept?”

Answer: Both.

Predatory

The American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics states: “…the inherent inequality in the doctor-patient relationship may lead to exploitation of the patient.  Sexual activity with a current or former patient is unethical.”

Similarly, the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code Of Conduct states “Psychologists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority such as clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, and employees.  Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with current therapy clients/patients.”

Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health practitioners are well aware they are serving an emotionally and mentally vulnerable population.  They know the potential damage they can cause by the introduction of sex into the therapeutic relationship.  The only conclusion is that they are less interested in helping the vulnerable patient as they are in dominating them for their own sexual gratification.

But psychiatrists and psychologists rarely consider that raping a patient is rape.  Instead, it is euphemistically called “sexual contact,” a “sexual relationship” or “crossing the boundaries” when one of its members sexually forces himself on a patient, often with the help of drugs or electroshock treatment.

Inept

The mental health profession has never identified the cause of a single so-called mental disorder and neither they nor the pharmaceutical companies has any idea how any psychiatric drug operates in the human body to bring about an alleged “therapeutic” effect.  Yet psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians continue to diagnose patients with mental disorders which they cannot substantiate and then prescribe or endorse drugs—some of which carry federal warnings of increased violent and suicidal behavior.

“I was in a drug-induced mania from clonazepam and alprazolam (both, I later learned are contraindicated for alcoholism) along with Lamictal, Topamax, Lexapro and Lunesta….  During this drug-induced mania, I blew through half of my savings, harassed my former employer, broke up with my boyfriend of five years suddenly…overdosed twice, etc.,” said Melissa R.

The ultimate toll of the harm caused by psychotherapist sex is patient suicide.  About 14% of those who have been sexually involved with a therapist will make at least one attempt at suicide.  One in every hundred patients succeeds.  Factoring in the fearful silence of most victims—only an estimated 1% actually report the abuse—tens of thousands of patients of psychiatric therapists have committed suicide, and thousands more have been hospitalized because of the harm caused to them.

“The shame and humiliation is still very much with me a year and a half later.  I’ve been feeling suicidal…I wake up angry at [former psychiatrist] everyday, and I don’t want to continue to let this person have such an impact on my life.  If at some point in the near future I do manage to kill myself, the doctor will be partly to blame,” said Melissa R. in her report to CCHR.

Use them sexually and then use their “illness” against them

If a patient ever complains, offending psychiatrists first blame the patient’s “mental illness,” then the patient’s inability to “come to terms” with their earlier traumatic experience.  Finally, psychiatrists frequently argue that the patient consented to the “relationship,” despite the obvious abuse.

“His defense was that I was recovering memories of my father sexually abusing me,” said Melissa R. “This is despite the fact that I have never made such allegations, nor did that ever happen. [He said] that I attacked him as he admitted to investigators that he had his penis out.  I was 105 lbs at the time [having] shed 15 lbs from the mania and he has to be 230-250 lbs.”

“Run, don’t walk.”

“The biggest lesson I can impart is that if you think something is fishy, i.e. your psychiatrist is very flirtatious, says inappropriate things, or you just get that weird feeling about them:  Run, don’t walk away,” said Melissa R.  “When someone in that position isn’t 100% interested in your care, the results can be a disaster.  Polypharmacy [the prescribing of multiple drugs at once] is more likely to make you sick than better.  I wish I had listened to my gut feeling.  I wish I hadn’t been naïve enough to believe that just because someone is trained and paid to help means anything.  I hope you will keep his name in a file should he harm someone in the future.  Just like child molesters often have more than one victim, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t end up in trouble again.”

Police, attorneys and prosecutors

Melissa R.’s report is hardly an isolated instance, as CCHR’s files (and the news) are full of such reports.  Sexual exploitation of patients by psychotherapists is quite common but victims who report it are so often regarded as “crazy” or “just a psychiatric patient” that they are not likely to risk potential humiliation.  When one does muster up the courage to come forward, police, civil attorneys and prosecutors need to recognize it as an opportunity to identify and remove a destructive entity from the community: Investigate and prosecute/litigate to the fullest.

Please contact Steve Wagner, Director of Litigation and Prosecution, CCHR International for more information on psychiatric sexual exploitation: 800-869-2247 or swagner@cchr.org

Article used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

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Psychotherapist sexual exploitation: A survivor takes her case to court

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on January 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Sex is never part of professional treatment but it is the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.

In mid-2003, Julie*, a 33-year-old Louisiana woman, was seeking a divorce from her husband, whom she described as abusive.  In an effort to try and understand why she was attracted to “the abusive type,” she sought the help of a psychiatrist.  Because she had also been experiencing panic attacks, she sought out psychiatrist Gregg S. Hunter because of an article he’d written about the treatment of panic attacks that she had seen in the local newspaper.

Julie saw Hunter for counseling at Houma Wellness Center in Houma, Louisiana from October 2003 to March 2004.

Julie stated, “On my first visit, Dr. Hunter made me feel comfortable and relaxed.  He took my medical history and we discussed the problems I was having in my marriage, which were sexual in nature whereas my husband did not make an effort to show romance prior to our sexual relations and would become violent toward me when refusing him sex.  Dr. Hunter suggested that my husband might not be the man that I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.  He suggested I find a man who would respect me, somebody probably a little older…and who was a professional.”  “When I returned to see Dr. Hunter, he commented on how beautiful he thought I was….  It made me feel wonderful.  I had not received this kind of attention from my husband and I felt that Dr. Hunter might see the true me.  I was excited that he was a doctor and that he showed an interest in me.”

This scenario is typical of the way a psychiatrist will manipulate the patient, laying the groundwork for eventual sexual conquest by zeroing in on the patient’s vulnerability (in this case, a need for romance and her husband’s lack of respect and appreciation of her) and using it to get what they want.

In “The Seduction of the Female Patient,” Sydney Smith, Ph.D. stated, “…abusing therapists demonstrate a great need for control.  The patient becomes the object first of a psychological subjugation that may…become a form of physical subjugation.  Such therapists enjoy a sense of triumph as they take custody of the patient’s body as well as her mind.  There are those who blame such circumstances on the fact that the therapist may be suffering a lack of comfort in his private life…[however] most cases that have come to light and have been studied are not an instance of a genuine “falling in love,” but are instead reflection of the psychopathological, egotistical needs of the therapist who abandons the well-being of the patient for his own crass self-indulgence.” [1]

And that is exactly what Julie asserts occurred in her case.  She stated:

“We again discussed problems in my marriage and he made comments as to how beautiful he thought I was and my husband must not realize what he had,” she said.  “I figured at one point that it would be great to be in a relationship with him because he was trained in psychology and would be able to understand all of my problems without judgment.  I asked if he was married and he told me ‘no’.  I asked if he was engaged and he also told me ‘no’.”

On a subsequent visit, she told Hunter that she’d left her husband.  “He again complimented me on my looks, how beautiful I was and how he just could not resist me.  He then asked if he could call me outside of office so we could discuss our feelings for one another.  I agreed.”

“When he showed up [at her apartment]…he told me he could just not resist and asked if I felt the same way and I did.  He was charming and made me feel good.  We went from kissing lightly to passionately and then I pushed away.  I wanted to confirm he was not married or engaged and how this just could not be happening to me…that he was interested in me.  He said he felt the same way.”

During this visit, Julie alleges that Hunter initiated sexual acts, including intercourse.  She stated, “Afterward…in my bed…I was really feeling like this could finally be the one.  His phone rang and so did his beeper and he informed me that it was a woman he had been seeing and how he was not sure if this relationship would last.  I was almost devastated.  But felt some hope, they were not engaged and on the rocks.  I still felt I might have a chance.”

“I believe it was the next day when he told me they lived together and I began to cry, asking him how he could do this to me.  Especially since he knew [from the content of therapy sessions] that I desired more than just sex with anyone!  He informed me a month later that ‘he found out that he was getting engaged.’  I again became very upset and depressed.”

Psychiatric drugs to assist continued sexual exploitation

Early in therapy Hunter prescribed Julie several psychiatric drugs.  “He diagnosed me as ‘bipolar,’” she said.  “He had a piece of paper and read off some symptoms and then said, ‘Yep, you’re bipolar.’  I just couldn’t believe that was the only way they diagnosed me.  I was going through a divorce with an abusive husband.  I was experiencing normal feelings regarding that.”

With the diagnosis came the inevitable prescriptions for dangerous and unnecessary mind-altering drugs.  She stated, “He had me on quite a number of prescriptions all of which were supposed to help me with anxiety, sleep disorders, and my bipolar disorder.  I was a zombie, unable to think and function normally.  [The drugs] absolutely had an effect on me with regards to causing/or my allowing the sexual abuse.  I was in bed nearly comatose for over a year from the drugs.”

Julie asserted, that Hunter continued to visit her outside of therapy and to call her and tell her how much he missed her and wished they could run off together, how his heart was breaking just as much as hers and how his relationship with his fiancée was not as passionate as his with Julie.

She stated, “My divorce proceedings went on and he told me he would do anything to help me through the divorce.  He advised that it was in my best interest not to return to work until the divorce was over….  What he didn’t realize was that I could not even get out of bed much less work!  He at this point became very nervous about my health because he thought I would tell someone about him and me.  [In actuality] my health was not a concern to him.  At this point he needed to protect himself.  So since he knew my mental health and what it took to control me or make me happy, he used every bit of his education and training to see that he made me happy and feel better by telling me he still cared for me deeply.  He made it seem he was calling out of concern and I believed every word.”

Julie alleges that Hunter carried on a sexual relationship with her for approximately five more months, compromising her will with powerful and debilitating psychiatric drugs and stringing her along by telling her he was going to leave his fiancée.

Hunter’s alleged use of drugs to bring this about is another common tactic.  Often a psychiatrist will use drugs to create an altered state of mind in the patient, which makes it easier to commit what truly amounts to nothing less than rape.  In many cases, to cover his tracks, the patient will be “accidentally” over-prescribed or over-dosed, causing the “need” for hospitalization, or even worse, brutal electric shock “treatment.”  (Perhaps significantly, of the estimated 110,000 people who are given electric shock “treatment” each year, two-thirds are women.) [2]

If a patient complains, offending psychiatrists often first blame the patient’s “mental illness,” then the patient’s inability to “come to terms” with their earlier traumatic experience.  Finally, psychiatrists frequently argue that the patient consented to the “relationship,” despite the obvious abuse.  Some have even been known to take drastic and illegal steps to prevent the sexually abused patient from exposing them.  For example, California psychiatrist Thomas Brod treated a female patient with whom he attempted to initiate a romantic relationship, hugging and kissing her during therapy sessions.  He later convinced her to have sex with him because “it would be good for her therapy.”  Several years later when the patient wanted to end their relationship, Brod had her committed to a psychiatric facility.  The California Medical Board placed him on two years probation. [3]

Historical perspective

In his 2001 report, “Sex Between Therapists and Clients,” Kenneth Pope, the former head of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association, wrote: “The health care professions at their earliest beginnings recognized the harm that could result from sexual involvement with patients.  The Hippocratic Oath, named after a physician who practiced around the fifth century B.C. prohibits sex with patients….  The historical consensus among health care professionals that sex with patients is prohibited as destructive has continued into the modern age.” [4]

The ultimate toll of that harm is too often patient suicide.  About 14% of those who have been sexually involved with a therapist will make at least one attempt at suicide.  One in every hundred patients succeeds. [5] Factoring in the fearful silence of most victims—only an estimated 1% actually report the abuse—tens of thousands of patients of psychiatric therapists have committed suicide, and thousands more have been hospitalized because of the harm caused to them.

Doing something about it

Julie ultimately did some research on psychiatrists engaging in sex with patients and discovered just how badly she had been exploited.  She stated, “I am still struggling with how he could do such a terrible thing to anyone.  It’s like he ripped my heart out and kicked me while I was at my lowest point.  I trusted this man with my deepest innermost secrets and he used them against me by using his knowledge to manipulate me to have sex with him.”

She contacted an attorney and gathered evidence to support her allegations that Hunter had engaged in a personal and sexual relationship with her, including cell phone records, recording conversations with him in which he acknowledged that there was a sexual relationship and even a hidden camera to videotape him in her apartment (potential plaintiffs should consult with an attorney in their own states to determine the legality of these methods of gathering evidence and their admissibility in a court of law).

In late October 2004, Julie filed a lawsuit against Hunter for damages.  The case was settled in March 2005.  The terms of the settlement required Hunter to pay her attorneys $30,000 up front and $1,000 per month for 85 months (a portion of which was paid to Julie).  While it would have been preferable to bring the case before a jury, this settlement was not a bad end result.  Psychiatric rape cases such as this are not usually covered by a practitioner’s professional liability (malpractice) insurance, as the act of engaging in sex with a patient is an intentional act.  Malpractice insurance is for unintentional acts.  So, $115,000 out of the psychiatrist’s own pocket is considerable financial damage. [6]

On December 12, 2008, Hunter was arrested in Houma for “unauthorized entry of a business, violation of a protective order.” [7]

Earlier, on December 2nd, his medical license was suspended.  The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners has not yet issued a statement of charges or other information on the reason for the suspension. [8]

The moral of the story is that if you enter psychotherapy, there is a 25% percent chance that your therapist (psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.) will attempt to manipulate your emotional vulnerability (possibly by doping you up with mind-altering drugs) in order to engage you in sex.  Should you decide to enter into therapy, be attentive for any inappropriate comments or behavior on the part of your therapist that would be indicative of a “romantic” or sexual intention.

Should your therapist make such comments or act in an inappropriate way, it is advisable to save any evidence such as e-mails, voicemails, text messages, notes and even biological evidence. [9]

Then contact a medical/psychiatric malpractice attorney right away.

Several states and countries also have laws making such sexual exploitation a crime.

For more information or to file a report of psychiatric sexual abuse and find out how CCHR may be able to assist you, please contact Steve Wagner, Director of Litigation, 800-869-2247 or swagner@cchr.org

*The name “Julie” is a pseudonym for the plaintiff in this case, who requested that her identity be protected.


[1] Sydney Smith, Ph.D., “The Seduction of the Female Patient,” Sexual Exploitation in Professional Relationships, American Psychiatric Press, 1989, p 6.

[2] “Electroshock Therapy for Depression Makes a Discreet Comeback”, by Lisa W. Foderaero, International Herald Tribune, July 20, 1993; Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Report, “A Report to the Legislature in Response to Chapter 1252, Statutes of 1977”, California Department of Mental Health, 1989, 1990; Quarterly Report on the Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in Texas, June-August 1993, September-November 1993, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

[3] Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Thomas M. Brod, M.D., No. D-5408, OAH No. L-61681, 22 November 1994.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] While settlements of this kind come with a confidentiality clause applicable to both sides, “Julie” is no longer bound by the clause in her settlement, as Hunter defaulted on the agreement by failing to keep up with the monthly payments.

[7] Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office police report, as published in The Daily Comet, December 12, 2008.

[8] Notice of Summary Suspension of Medical License, In the Matter of Gregg Spaulding Hunter, M.D., Certificate No. 14239R, Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, December 2, 2008.

[9] In the event of sexual contact or intercourse, it may be possible in some cases to retain residue of semen on garments and one can even go immediately to the hospital—before bathing or changing clothes—and request a “rape kit,” which medical personnel use to collect evidence of a sexual assault.

Article used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

Health Care Licensing Boards Should Refer for Criminal Prosecution Any Mental Health Practitioner Found to Have Engaged in Sex with a Patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on January 13, 2010 at 10:06 pm

It is hard to understand how a state agency can permit a mental health practitioner (psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical social worker, professional counselor) to continue to treat the public despite having been found to have engaged a patient in sexual relations. Mental health patients are not the same as patients receiving medical treatment. Individuals seeking mental health treatment are usually already in a fragile mental/emotional state and so come to the therapist depressed, confused and/or insecure. Some are victims of violence or sexual abuse or have suffered other losses that have reduced their ability to enjoy life. Mental health patients are widely recognized by experts and the law as being extremely vulnerable.

A patient visiting a general practitioner or any other type of specialist is not there due to such emotional distress and vulnerability.

For this reason, it is particularly heinous for a mental health practitioner to manipulate vulnerable patients for sexual gratification. The exploitation of the patient’s vulnerability constitutes a betrayal of considerable magnitude—far greater than if a general practitioner or other specialist did the same thing.

While offending mental health practitioners have offered up some astounding justifications for having sex with their patients, few, if any, have ever claimed ignorance of the rules, regulations or codes prohibiting it. The Hippocratic Oath forbids. The American Psychiatric Association however merely calls it “unethical” (and few are the psychiatrists banned from that Association for sexual acts with patients).

Anyone doubting the issue should visit the Citizens Commission on Human Rights’ database of convicted mental health practitioners at www.psychcrime.org. Enter the search terms “sex” or “rape,” to see several hundred such patient sex-related cases.

With routine sexual abuse or sexual assault of patients by mental health practitioners being met by toothless professional codes and too-often-lenient administrative discipline, it is no surprise 19 states enacted laws making it a crime for a mental heath practitioner to engage in sex with a client. A smaller handful of states have regulations that allow or require licensing boards to refer detected sexual exploitation of a patient for criminal prosecution. The following data is being presented to all state health care licensing boards in the hope that they will recognize the need and the value to the public of making such referrals.

The following are some recent examples on which this should have been done:

  • Kansas psychologist James D. Wright expressed attraction to a patient, with whom he subsequently engaged in hugging, kissing and oral sex. He was subsequently “disciplined” with a stayed two-year suspension of his license.1
  • Nevada psychiatrist Robert L. Horne engaged in a relationship with a former patient. He was reprimanded and fined.2
  • Michigan psychologist John G. Roe had his license suspended by the state Department of Community Health for at least six months and one day for conducting a relationship with a patient for several years.3
  • Connecticut psychologist Reuben Spitz engaged in a sexual relationship with the wife of a patient within two years of the termination of the therapist-patient relationship. He was placed on two years’ probation (during which he can continue to practice).4
  • Washington mental health counselor Natalie N. McKinley became “romantically involved” with a client and married him a month later. The Department of Health suspended her credential for three years.5
  • Ohio mental health counselor Melvin D. Johnson was suspended for one year for failing to comply with the terms of an earlier order suspending his license for two years for engaging in “an inappropriate relationship of a sexual nature with a female client.”6
  • Vermont licensed clinical social worker Natalie Ann Trombly engaged in a sexual relationship with a client that lasted several weeks. She was ordered by the state licensing authority to complete a graduate level ethics course, undergo an evaluation and have her practice supervised for an unspecified length of time.7

These cases are only a few examples of mental health practitioners that will continue to practice, despite having violated the ethical codes of their professions as well as state laws and/or rules and/or regulations.

They have also violated a long-held moral standard which has even been recognized by our courts: In the landmark 1976 case of Roy v. Hartogs, one of the first in which a woman successfully brought suit against her therapist on these grounds, the court held: “Thus from [Freud] to the modern practitioner we have common agreement of the harmful effects of sexual intimacies between patient and therapist.”8

In his 2001 report, “Sex Between Therapists and Clients,” Kenneth Pope, the former head of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association wrote: “The health care professions at their earliest beginnings recognized the harm that could result from sexual involvement with patients. The Hippocratic Oath, named after a physician who practiced around the fifth century B.C. prohibits sex with patients…. The historical consensus among health care professionals that sex with patients is prohibited as destructive has continued into the modern age.9

The ultimate toll of that harm is patient suicide. About 14% of those who have been sexually involved with a therapist will make at least one attempt at suicide. One in every hundred patients succeeds.10 Factoring in the fearful silence of most victims—only an estimated 1% actually report the abuse—tens of thousands of patients of psychiatric therapists have committed suicide, and thousands more have been hospitalized because of the harm caused to them.

If a patient ever complains, offending psychiatrists first blame the patient’s “mental illness,” then the patient’s inability to “come to terms” with their earlier traumatic experience. Finally, psychiatrists frequently argue that the patient consented to the “relationship,” despite the obvious abuse. Some have even been known to take drastic and illegal steps to prevent the sexually abused patient from exposing them: California psychiatrist Thomas Brod treated a female patient with whom he attempted to initiate a romantic relationship, hugging and kissing her during therapy sessions. He later convinced her to have sex with him because “it would be good for her therapy.” Several years later when the patient wanted to end their relationship, Brod had her committed to a psychiatric facility. The California Medical Board placed him on two years probation.11

Nineteen states have psychotherapist sexual exploitation laws making sexual contact with a patient by a psychotherapist a crime, with penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and $20,000 in fines.

The fact is, these kinds of complaints are being filed and investigated continually. Administrative discipline, as meted out by our state licensing boards, is often insufficient, as evidenced by the above cases and many more like them.

Not all state licensing boards take the time to refer such cases to law enforcement for investigation and prosecution, though every such case ought to be, especially in states that have a psychotherapist sexual exploitation law. In Florida, such referral is mandated by law. In states that do not yet have such laws, the cases should still be referred on the basis of felony rape or sexual assault or battery.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights calls upon our state health care licensing boards to begin making these referrals mandatory when a sex crime is detected.

For more information, please contact Steve Wagner, Director of Litigation at swagner@cchr.org.

1 Disciplinary entry on James D. Wright, Ph.D., as published on the website of the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, 31 July 2007.

2 Disciplinary entry on Robert L. Horne, as published on the website of the Nevada Medical Board, 20 April 2005 and 28 March 2008.

3 “Slain woman’s psychologist’s license suspended,” Grand Rapids Press, 12 July 2008.

4 Memorandum of Decision, Reuben T. Spitz, Ph.D., Petition No. 2006-1201-008-009, Connecticut Board of Examiners of Psychologists, 6 June 2008.

5 Stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Agreed Order, In the Matter of Natalie N. McKinley aka Natalie N. Gomez, Docket No. 07-11-B-1009RC, No. M2008-109031, 20 June 2008.

6 Adjudication Order in the Matter of Melvin D. Johnson, Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board, 21 March 2008.

7 Stipulation and Consent Order, In Re: Natalie Ann Trombly, Docket No: 03-0407, State of Vermont Secretary of State Office of Professional Regulation, 24 April 2008.

8 Kenneth Pope,“Sex Between Therapists and Clients,” Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender, (Academic Press, Oct. 2001).

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Thomas M. Brod, M.D., No. D-5408, OAH No. L-61681, 22 November 1994.

Article used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

It’s No Surprise Psychotherapists Lawsuits Are On The Rise

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on January 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm

A recent issue of The National Law Journal contained an article addressing the rise in psychotherapist’s fear of lawsuits against them.

The article states, “Legal and health care experts say therapists today face a greater risk of being sued than ever before.”

The basis for the rise in civil actions against psychotherapists is the observable fact that so many of them are either plain incompetent or are outright criminals who harm their patients instead of helping them.

Additionally, the number of administrative complaints against therapists has increased significantly in recent years.  For instance, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences—which licenses marriage and family therapists and counselors—averages between 600 and 700 complaints a year.

(Indeed, CCHR International has noted this increase and has correspondingly filed twice as many administrative complaints in the first half of 2006 as it did in all of 2005.)

Psychotherapists’ fear is warranted.

But, in addition to a fear of lawsuits is the increase in the number of suits themselves.  “The number of complaints (against psychotherapists) has skyrocketed,” said attorney O. Brandt Caudill, who is currently representing therapists in about 30 civil suits.  What’s more, Caudill noted a change in the character of the complaints: Suits against psychotherapists have generally been for sexual misconduct or failure to prevent suicide.  Now they are being sued for not helping people get better or for engaging patients in business relationships that go bad.

Suits have also been filed for marriages that failed because of therapy or because the therapist had an affair with one or the other marriage partner.

In June 2003, Carol Ikerman of Little Rock, Arkansas filed suit against psychiatrist James “Kurt” Dilday and his company for breach of contract after her son, 39-year-old James Wesley Emmet, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2002.  Ikerman’s suit states that Dilday treated the married father of two for depression, panic disorder and alcohol and drug abuse for 20 months before his death.  The suit claims Dilday improperly prescribed medications, including Xanax and Oxycontin, to Emmet, failed to offer treatments that could have prevented suicide and broke the physician-patient bond of trust by billing Emmet for 100 office visits he didn’t make.  This case is still pending.

In August 2004, the family of an emotionally disturbed woman who killed herself sued the woman’s psychologist for wrongful death.  The patient, Donna Roth, had become romantically involved with the attorney handling her divorce—an affair encouraged and condoned by psychologist Darlene Williams as being “good for Ms. Roth’s emotional health.”  Ms. Roth became despondent when she realized that the attorney was not going to leave his wife and that she had been taken advantage of emotionally and financially.  She called the attorney threatening suicide.  The attorney contacted psychologist Williams who did not take the necessary steps to prevent the suicide, which occurred by overdose.

As of April 2005, Chicago attorney Richard Lee Stavins is representing three of four separate plaintiffs in negligence suits against psychologist Leticia Libman and Delnor-Community Hospital.  The plaintiffs allege that Libman practiced witchcraft and her “therapy”—encouraging patients to speak with dead people, asking for a sample of a patient’s spouse’s DNA so she could “cast a spell”—caused a failed marriage, emotional instability and an attempted suicide.  Plaintiffs are seeking from $50,000 to $1 million in damages.

In April 2005 Ontario psychiatrist Rodica Stefaniu became the first psychiatrist in Canada to be held civilly responsible for a murder committed by a patient she treated.  The judgment awarded more than $170,000 to the two daughters and common-law spouse of Roslyn Knipe, who was murdered by the patient (her brother), who thought she was the devil.  A jury found that Stefaniu was negligent because she didn’t meet the standard of care required by a general psychiatrist and because it was “reasonably foreseeable” that her patient would cause serious bodily harm to others.

On October 26, 2005, a Pennsylvania jury found psychiatrist Stephen Powers guilty of psychiatric malpractice, awarding plaintiff Rose Gray $330,000 in damages.  Gray maintained that Powers used questionable techniques that made her believe she was being abused by devil worshippers.  Powers’ use of this “technique,” known as “repressed memory syndrome,” led Gray to a 10-year ordeal from which she will never fully recover.  According to trial testimony, Gray’s first two years of therapy with Powers went well.  The psychiatrist then attended a meeting about multiple-personality disorder and repressed memories and began suggesting to Gray that she had repressed memories of being in a cult that killed and ate babies.  She came to believe it and came to believe her own husband and mother were in the cult as well.  Powers encouraged her to cut off contact with them, which she did, including getting a divorce from her husband.  Repressed memory syndrome and satanic abuse was a groundless psychiatric fad that swept the nation in the late 1980s and early 1990s, doing untold damage to patients.  It has been the basis of many lawsuits, most all of them won by the plaintiff.

On April 27, 2006, an Illinois man filed a malpractice suit against his former marriage counselor for allegedly sleeping with his former wife.  Scott Buetow filed the lawsuit against marriage counselor Dan Blair and the Arbor Counseling Center, seeking more than $200,000 in damages.  Buetow began seeing Blair in April 2004, and his wife soon joined him in the sessions for joint counseling, according to the lawsuit.  Buetow alleges that Blair then started a romantic relationship with the wife. “He had Scott confide in him about his marital woes and then used that against him,” said Buetow’s attorney, Hans Mast.  The couple’s marriage ended in February 2006.

Recommendations

  • If you are conducting a civil or criminal prosecution in which the defendant is a psychiatrist, psychologist or other psychotherapist, contact CCHR for assistance in locating expert witnesses and for other assistance in your case.
  • If you are dealing with reluctant witnesses or plaintiffs in a case against a psychotherapist, CCHR can provide assistance, support and act as a stabilizing influence.  Contact CCHR.
  • Health insurance providers should conduct searching reviews of the reimbursement records of psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists who have been convicted of sex crimes against patients to uncover instances of billing for “treatment” when sex took place.
  • If you know someone who has been abused or betrayed by their psychotherapist, encourage them to contact an attorney or CCHR.  We can assist them with complaints and with locating legal representation.
  • Visit CCHR’s new museum in Los Angeles, “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” to find out the history of psychiatry.

Article used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

Psychiatrists & Psychologists: Sexual Assault and Great Harm

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on January 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm

As was made clear in an earlier report, “Psychiatrists & Psychologists: Professional Rapists, Perverts and Pedophiles”, sexual assault and exploitation of a patient in psychotherapy is common.

The statistics speak for themselves:

At least 10 percent of them admit to sexually abusing their patients.  Some studies estimate that the figure is as high as 25%, and a California study claims 48%.  All studies estimate that a vast majority of these rapes go unreported.

According to Robert Langs, author of the book, Madness and Cure, psychotherapists manifest three times as many incidents of “inappropriate behavior” as the people they are treating.

One report called two thirds of all psychiatrists “seriously mentally ill.”

Psychiatrists divorce more than other physicians.

The United States loses approximately $100 billion to healthcare fraud each year.  Up to $40 billion of this is due to fraudulent practices in the mental health industry.

“…GREAT HARM IS POSSIBLE”

Psychotherapist and author Jeffrey Masson noted, “I do not believe that abuse in the field of psychotherapy is unusual….  Everybody should know, then, that to step into the office of a psychotherapist, regardless of the latter’s persuasion, is to enter a world where great harm is possible.”

The damage that a psychotherapist is capable of doing when he sexually exploits a patient deserves grave penalty.  And patients need to be informed that such exploitation is never therapeutic.  It is only grounds for license revocation or criminal prosecution and anyone who has been so victimized should file complaints right away.  The following examples are cases that did just that.

  • A married teacher at Harvard University entered into therapy with psychiatrist Joel H. Feigon in 1970 “to deal with boundary issues and her feelings about her extramarital relationship” with another man.  Not only was Feigon permissive of the woman’s sexual affair outside her marriage, but by May 1975, he too was having sex with her, explaining that, “…it was part of her healing to realize that her passion was good” and that “…it should not be discussed (with others) if healing was to take place.”  She paid him for each of these “sessions.”  Feigon treated the woman’s two children for distress over their parents’ separation.  He also treated the man with whom she was having the extramarital affair (and who she later married).  Though she left therapy in 1976, Feigon continued his psychiatric sex “healing” of the woman until 1981, when she ended the “relationship.”  In June 1996, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine revoked Feigon’s license.
  • The especially sordid and secretive nature of the psychiatric profession is made very clear in what followed in the Feigon case.  The woman’s new husband, feeling understandably betrayed when he learned of Feigon’s sexual exploitation of his wife (while both he and his wife were patients), consulted with another psychiatrist, Edward Daniels of Harvard Medical School.  Daniels advised against taking public action against Feigon but instead suggested he try and get his money back for “service he had not received.”  In 1994 the state of Massachusetts also stripped Daniels of his license, based on complaints of sexual abuse of female patients stretching back over the preceding 30 years.
  • In 1985, California psychiatrist Stuart L. Brown began counseling a married couple for marital difficulties.  During sessions with the wife, Brown talked about his family, his girlfriend and about an affair he had had, stating that “affairs were helpful and very comforting.”  State documents indicate that by 1986, Brown had begun giving her compliments on how she looked and told her “…you could do a lot better than your husband…kick him out.”  Though the woman attempted to redirect therapy toward the troubles in her marriage, Brown continued to make it about his feelings toward her, which eventually led to sexual intercourse.  In April 1986, Brown began counseling another couple with marital difficulties.  He met with the wife, then the husband.  According to state documents, he then told the wife, “I think what you need is an affair.  You’d be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.  Your life will lighten up.”  He suggested she, “Go to a hotel out of the area…only once or twice a month…but don’t get too involved because it gets messy.”  The woman left therapy and never returned.  The State of California revoked Brown’s license in July of 1989.
  • On December 13, 1995 the New York Department of Health revoked psychiatrist Richard Gold’s license, following a hearing which included testimony from five female patients, all of whom Gold had engaged in sexual activity, as far back as the late 1960s.  Among these were two married patients who had come to Gold for help with troubles in their marriages.  Gold billed the patients’ insurance plans or accepted payment from them for these sex sessions.
  • New York psychiatrist Mark Bryant Morrison had his license revoked by the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct in January 1997.  Among the allegations that led to the revocation was that Morrison had a sexual relationship with a female patient upon whom he used hypnosis, which he told her would “make her sex life better.”  With the patient in the hypnotic state, he advised her that if she repeated this to anyone, he would have her locked up and her son would be taken from her.
  • British psychiatrist Nazir Mahomedaly had his license revoked by the UK General Medical Council in April 1999 after being found guilty of serious professional misconduct.  He began flirting with a woman in March 1997 when her husband was admitted to a psychiatric hospital because he was hallucinating and hearing voices.  The woman, who acted as an interpreter for her husband, revealed that Mahomedaly constantly “chatted her up” and did not conduct himself like a doctor — flattering her and speaking negatively about her husband.  This continued even after her husband had been discharged, as the psychiatrist bombarded her with 25 hours of phone calls from his office, making his sexual intentions clear — 69 telephone calls in all, pestering her until she agreed to have sex with him.

These are just a few of the thousands of such cases.

Recommendations

Currently, 25 states have laws making sexual contact with a patient by a psychotherapist a crime (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin).  But such laws are necessary in all states.  Enact or support such legislation.

  • If you are conducting a civil or criminal prosecution in which the defendant is a psychiatrist, psychologist or other psychotherapist, contact CCHR for assistance in locating expert witnesses and for other assistance in your case.
  • If you are dealing with reluctant witnesses or plaintiffs in a case against a psychotherapist, CCHR can provide assistance, support and act as a stabilizing influence.  Contact CCHR.
  • Health insurance providers should conduct searching reviews of the reimbursement records of psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists who have been convicted of sex crimes against patients to uncover instances of billing for “treatment” when sex took place.
  • Insist on thorough investigation in criminal complaints of sexual assault by a psychotherapist.  CCHR’s research and experience has shown that such complaints are not usually for isolated incidents; patterns of conduct and multiple victims are routinely uncovered.  CCHR may be able to assist in locating these.
  • Visit CCHR’s new museum in Los Angeles, “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” to find out the history of psychiatry.
  • Check CCHR’s database at www.psychcrime.org/database and search the 1000+ names of therapists that have been criminally convicted

Article used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

Psychiatrists & Psychologists: Professional Rapists, Perverts and Pedophiles

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on January 13, 2010 at 9:52 pm

The United States Code, Chapter 109a, Title 18, Section 2242, Sexual Abuse, states, “Whoever…knowingly…engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is…incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct…shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

There is a long-standing consensus in the medical profession that sexual contact or sexual relations between physicians and patients is unethical. The prohibition against such was incorporated into the Hippocratic Oath: “I will come to the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons….”

In no other area of medicine is the patient in such a state of emotional vulnerability as when they visit a psychiatrist or psychologist. It is a relationship in which the patient can be most easily exploited and manipulated.

But psychiatrists and psychologists rarely consider that raping a patient is rape. Instead, it is euphemistically called “sexual contact,” a “sexual relationship” or “crossing the boundaries” when one of its members sexually forces themself on a patient, often with the help of drugs or electroshock treatment.

Yet, the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics states: “[T]he inherent inequality in the doctor-patient relationship may lead to exploitation of the patient. Sexual activity with a current or former patient is unethical.”

Similarly, the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct states: “Psychologists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority such as clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, and employees. Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with current therapy clients/patients.”

Unfortunately, too many of them do not heed their profession’s codes. This is well understood by government and law enforcement: as of 2004, there have been more than 25 statutes enacted to address the increasing number of sex crimes against patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Israel.

Psychiatric Rape Statistics

A review of more than 800 convictions of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists between 1998 and 2005 revealed that more than 30% were for sex crimes.

Studies in numerous countries reveal that between 10% and 25% of psychiatrists and psychologists admit to sexually abusing their patients.

A 1997 Canadian study of psychiatrists revealed that 10% admitted to sexually abusing their patients; 80% of those were repeat offenders.

In a 1999 British study of therapist-patient sexual contact among psychologists, 25% reported having treated a patient who had been sexually involved with another therapist.

As reported in 2001, a U.S. study of therapist-client sex, reported that 1 out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor. The female victims’ ages ranged from 3 to 17, and from 7 to 16 for the males. The average age was 7 for girls and 12 for boys.

Medical & Licensing Boards

While psychiatric rape is punishable by the justice system, in most of the cases professional registration boards deal with psychiatrists and psychologists’ rape merely as “professional misconduct.”

These boards decide what discipline should be imposed. Following this logic, if a plumber raped a customer, his fate should be decided by a society of plumbers. That, of course, will not happen and in the same way, neither should professional registration boards be allowed to operate as law. Especially when they have proven they cannot be trusted.

The so-called ethics system used by psychiatrists has been universally attacked as soft and inadequate. In 1996, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) claimed that “Ethical behavior is based on the psychiatrist’s individual sense of responsibility towards the patient and their judgment in determining what is correct and appropriate conduct. External standards and influences such as professional codes of conduct, the study of ethics, or the rule or law by themselves will not guarantee the ethical practice of medicine.”

Psychiatric and psychological professional societies do not police their memberships. State licensing agencies’ disciplinary actions frequently fail to meet the severity and lasting damage of the practitioner’s violations. Rape is rape and sexual abuse is sexual abuse, whether it occurs in an alley at knifepoint or on the couch in a professional office. It should be treated as a crime under existing sexual abuse statutes or legislation should be created and enacted that specifically targets sexual exploitation by psychotherapists.

Additionally, any law enforcement agency investigating such a sexual assault complaint should determine if insurance was involved and, if so, should suspect and investigate for potential insurance fraud (billing private, state or federal insurance programs for “treatment” that was actually sex).

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights exposes the criminal convictions of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health personnel for sexual assault, rape and other crimes. These are posted our online database, accessible on this site.

Psychiatric Sex Crimes Exposed in Florida

The January 28, 2005 Tampa Tribune reported the Florida Health Department’s failure to refer more than 100 cases of psychotherapist sexual activity with a patient to the State’s Attorney for prosecution. Florida law presumes that patients being treated for mental or emotional troubles are vulnerable and specifically forbids psychotherapists from engaging in sexual activity with them. Doing so is a felony, with a first offense punishable by up to five years in prison, and a second by up to 15 years. Another Florida law, passed in 1992, says that any allegation that might be criminal—such as those that might be discovered by agencies of the Health Department in a state administrative action—must be referred to prosecutors.

Common sense, decency and conscience require that when one suspects a crime has been committed that he/she report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency. For states such as Florida, who have laws requiring it, it is of course a gross oversight to have failed to do so, especially when so many other state licensing and regulatory agencies do it regularly, in the absence of laws requiring it.

A sampling of Florida cases that escaped criminal investigation and prosecution:

According to Health Department files, psychiatrist Jose Anibal Cruz flirted with a female patient upon her first visit. In subsequent meetings, he hugged her, then requested photos of her in a bathing suit or nude. Shortly, they began having an affair. Cruz managed to conceal the relationship for eight years, continuing it even when he had the woman hospitalized (which he did five times). Before seeing her on rounds, he would call ahead and ask her to be in the shower when he arrived. The state revoked his license.

Mental health counselor Marvin Kassed was accused administratively in 2000 of having a sexual relationship with a patient. Kassed took a plea deal under which he neither admitted nor denied the allegations but agreed to two years probation, $4,900 in fines and investigative fees, and a weekly review by a Health Department psychotherapist of his cases involving female patients. (Kassed was accused in a similar case six years earlier. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to attend an ethics course.)

Tampa family counselor Richard Bernstein was accused administratively in 1998 of using so-called family therapy sessions to engage the mother of a patient into a sexual relationship. Bernstein admitted the allegation. He was fined $1,000, was put on license probation for five years and was banned from treating female patients for one year.

Jacksonville psychologist William C. Devereux was charged with having a sexual relationship with a patient. On June 12, 2000 he signed an agreement with the licensing board in which he neither admitted nor denied the allegations. He was fined and his practice was restricted.

In 2000, Jacksonville psychiatrist Ernest C. Miller was accused of five counts of misconduct, including a sexual relationship with a female patient. He signed an agreement with the licensing board in which he neither admitted nor denied the charges. He received a fine and reprimand.

Some of Psychiatry’s & Psychology’s Recently Convicted Sex Criminals

Illinois psychiatrist Gary Almy was sentenced June 8, 2005 to seven years in prison after admitting he molested three boys ages 13-14 while they were attending a counseling center for troubled youths that he ran out of his home. Almy pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the three cases, which occurred between October 2000 and October 2003. (Almy was also the chief of staff at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in North Chicago until 1991, when he resigned after an investigation into patient deaths revealed they’d received substandard care.)

Connecticut school psychologist James Sullivan, Jr. was sentenced February 7, 2005 to 18 months in prison for sexually assaulting a handicapped woman. Police said Sullivan (who was also a part-time counselor to the mentally handicapped) assaulted a 45-year-old woman while on duty at a group home on July 20, 2001. Sullivan threatened to transfer the woman to another facility if she reported him. A DNA test of semen found on the woman’s sheets positively identified it as Sullivan’s.

On July 26, 2005, Vermont psychiatrist Peter McKenna admitted in District Court to violating the law by having sexual relations with a female patient. The patient testified as to how McKenna demanded sex from her during therapy sessions, knowing how vulnerable and alone she was: “He knew I’d succumb to any wish or sick desire, no matter how disgusting or perverted it was….He abused his credentials, and his license….” McKenna was sentenced to 60 days in a work camp followed by indefinite probation and had to return all treatment fees ($6,000) to the patient.

Connecticut psychologist and marriage and family therapist Robert G. Ryder surrendered to police May 19, 2003 after learning that they had issued a warrant for his arrest, charging him with sexual assault against one of his patients. Ryder, 68, was charged under a section of the state’s sexual assault laws that specifically addresses sexual exploitation of a patient by a therapist. He was found guilty and was sentenced on October 1, 2004 to one year in jail, suspended, and three years probation.

On July 21, 2005, psychiatrist Larry Anderson of British Columbia, was found guilty of sexual or indecent assault of three former female patients. At the opening of the trial, prosecuting attorney Brent Bagnall said none of the women were physically forced to have sex with Anderson, but suggested there could be more subtle forms of sexual assault. Anderson admitted to engaging in sex with the women inside his office, after the rest of the staff had gone home.

Illinois mental health counselor William E. Partridge was sentenced March 9, 2005 to 60 days in county jail and four years probation for sexually abusing one of his former clients. Partridge admitted he had sexually abused a then 17-year-old girl while she was attending freshman orientation at a university in June 2004. He also had sex with her several times before and shortly after she was discharged from a mental health facility that she had been admitted to in January 2004 due to distress following a friend’s suicide. Partridge was a counselor at the facility. “He used her as a sex toy,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Kirk Schoenbein. “He knew what buttons to push and what strings to pull.”

Former Stanford University psychologist Ian Edward Wickram was sentenced in October 2002 to a 90-day jail term and five years probation for sexual exploitation of two female patients. “Dr. Wickram seized on their vulnerabilities and exploited them for his own sexual gratification,” prosecutor Jeff Rosen said. In January 2003, the state revoked his license for incorporating sex into treatment regimens.

On July 4, 2002, London psychiatrist Kolathur Unni was jailed for 18 months for indecent assaults on female patients. One victim, who was in treatment with Unni for depression following the death of a loved one, testified that the psychiatrist groped her after insisting on checking a rash on her arm to ensure that it had not spread to her chest or “down below.” When she protested, he assured her no one would believe her as she was a mental patient. Unni had a history of sexual assaults on women patients and had previously been struck off the medical register in New Zealand for similar incidents dating back to the mid-1980s.

Michigan psychologist Bradley A. Kraushaar was sentenced May 29, 2003 to 90 days jail plus two years probation for fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. Kraushaar treated a 31-year-old married female for depression and marital issues. She had been referred to him following an overdose of an anti-anxiety drug. After several months, he engaged her in sexual topics and then sex.

Georgia professional counselor John C. Evans was convicted in March 2005 of one count of enticement of a child for immoral purposes, three counts of statutory rape, two counts of child molestation, one count of sexual assault of a person in custody and two counts of aggravated child molestation. Evans started molesting the victim when she was 14, while he was treating her family, and had intercourse with her when she 19. Other victims testified, including a former stepdaughter who said he’d engaged her in sexual intercourse at age ten, to congratulate her on becoming a woman. He was sentenced to 12 years prison and eight years probation.

Psychiatrists Who Must Register as Sex Offenders

In addition to their sentences, the following psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health “professionals” were ordered to register as sex offenders:

Nicholas Hill, UK psychiatrist, downloaded child pornography from the Internet and made an indecent film of two young girls, sentenced to three years probation October 11, 2000. He was jailed for two years on May 16, 2005 on a separate child pornography conviction.

Darren Holdsworth, UK psychiatrist, indecently assaulted a teenage girl, jailed for three years on November 21, 2002 and was again jailed for six weeks on May 13, 2004 for indecently assaulting a woman in a bar.

James Edward Jones, Florida counselor, convicted of sexual assault with teenage patients, sentenced to 10 years in state prison on April 17, 2000.

Frank Maietta, New Jersey psychologist, sexually molested young girls, sentenced to four years in a facility for sex offenders on July 16, 1999.

Julian Morrell, UK child psychiatrist, convicted of meeting a child following sexual grooming and two counts of sexual activity with a child, sentenced to four years prison on April 1, 2005.

Marjorie Mullenix, Texas counselor, sexually assaulted a child, sentenced to six years deferred adjudication and six years probation on July 31, 2003.

Basil Proctor, Florida counselor, had sex with a teenage patient, sentenced to eight months jail and two years house arrest in April 2000.

James Anton Provan, Australia psychologist, possession of child pornography, received a two-year community-based order (probation) on December 16, 2004.

Param Shukla, Massachusetts psychiatrist, convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14, received two years probation in January 2004.

Louis Templeman, Florida counselor with Department of Families and Children, convicted of sexual battery on a minor, sentenced to ten years prison on March 8, 2002.

Stephen G. Viola, Michigan psychologist, convicted of sexual assault of a child, sentenced to six months jail on September 4, 1998.

James E. Wetzel, Pennsylvania child psychologist, sexually molested two boys, sentenced to 6 to 23 months jail and up to 18 years probation in June 1998.

Che White, Florida counselor, engaged in sex with a teenage girl, was sentenced to eight months jail, two years house arrest in April 2000.

John Bennett II, New Mexico psychiatrist, had sex with a former patient, sentenced on April 17, 2000 to a nine-year deferred prison term and five years probation.

Lee Bolt, Colorado psychotherapist, had sex with a patient who was seeing him for sexual abuse problems, was sentenced on June 5, 1998 to eight years probation.

Kenneth Ray Davis, California counselor, had sexual contact with and supplied drugs to minors, jailed for six years on November 3, 2001.

James D. Forfar, Michigan drug counselor, attempted 4th degree criminal sexual conduct and possession of marijuana, sentenced on April 5, 2002 to 60 days in jail.

Michael Haslam, UK psychiatrist, convicted of four counts of indecent assault, sentenced on May 13, 2004 to three years in jail.

Dennis Karamitros, Iowa therapist, convicted of sexual exploitation by a therapist, sentenced to five years prison (suspended) and five years probation on March 24, 2005.

William Kerr, UK psychiatrist, convicted of indecently assaulting a female patient in May 2003.

Anthony Millsopp, UK counselor, indecently assaulted a female patient, sentenced to nine months jail on September 23, 1999.

Robert Schauerhamer, Minnesota psychologist, convicted of criminal sexual conduct involving a 24-year-old mentally impaired man, was sentenced to 110 days jail August 16, 2001.

Article used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.