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Archive for the ‘sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist’ Category

Psychologist indicted for sexual misconduct with patient: “I’m a sex addict”

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on February 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Psychologist indicted for sexual misconduct; coerced patient into sex act under threatened of extended hospitalization
February 8, 2011

A psychologist at a southwest suburban mental health center was ordered was formally charged Friday with sexual misconduct with a disabled patient.

Dr. Robert Eizenga, 66, of Tinley Park, was charged Jan. 19 with one count each of sexual misconduct with a disabled person and official misconduct, according to Chicago Police.

On Jan. 20, he was ordered held on $150,000 bond, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Add on Friday, Eizenga was indicted on the charges, according to state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

Eizenga, a forensic psychologist, has been employed by the state Dept. of Human Services for more than 20 years, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

At the time of the alleged incidents, he was working at the Tinley Park Mental Health Center at 7400 W. 183rd St. as court liaison to the state’s attorney’s office and the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.

Court records show that on April 25, 2010, a 45-year-old woman was admitted as an inpatient suffering from depression. A few days after she was admitted, Eizinga took her into a conference room and said he would try to help her.

A couple of days later, he told the victim he had a “sex addiction,” was going to get divorced and was going make the victim “feel better.” He allegedly pulled his chair closer to hers, rubbed her leg and said he could get her a job, prosecutors said.

He then fondled her, exposed himself and told the victim to perform a sex act on him, threatening that he could keep her in the facility or send her to the Read Mental Health Center if she did not comply, prosecutors allege.

She performed oral sex because she believed he would force her to remain at the center, though she was there voluntarily. prosecutors said.

After a second similar encounter, the victim told her sister, who made numerous calls to the center trying to have her sister discharged. On the day the victim was discharged, Eizenga went to her room and gave her $20 and his business card, prosecutors said.

Eizenga later called the woman and bought her a cell phone using the name “Sam Doe.’’ He later gave her $100 to “keep her mouth shut,’’ court records show. On May 12, 2010, the victim called the facility to make a complaint and Eizinga was placed on administrative leave.

On Oct. 13, an Illinois State Police Special Agent placed Eizenga under arrest and he gave a handwritten statement admitting he told the victim he had a sex addiction and was getting divorced, but he claimed the victim wanted to have sex with him.

He admitted he fondled her and gave her $20, but said the woman asked for $500 and a bus ticket to Atlanta, according to the state’s attorney’s office. He said he then stopped communicating with her.

Source: “Psychologist indicted for sexual misconduct with patient,” Chicago Sun-Times, February 4, 2011.

California psychologist Robert S. “Dr. Bob” Weathers surrenders license; engaged in sex with former patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on December 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

On February 24, 2010 the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Psychology accepted the surrender of Robert Stanley Weathers, Ph.D.’s license to practice psychology.

According to the Board’s Accusation and Stipulated Surrender of License and Order, Weathers engaged in a sexual relationship with a former patient he later married and subsequently abandoned.

The Accusation states that between November 1, 2002 and December 10, 2002, “S.W.,” a female, was an in-patient at the Passages drug rehabilitation facility in Malibu, California, receiving treatment for her cocaine use. Weathers was her primary therapist and met with her twice a week for therapy.

S.W. developed a crush on Weathers early in her therapy. He became aware of this when another female patient told him that S.W. liked him.

After Weathers learned of S.W.’s attraction, their next therapy session was on the beach, where he told her he was aware of her attraction. The document states that he told her they could not begin a romantic relationship for two years (without risking disciplinary action against his license).

He told her he had been romantically involved with a graduate student while he was a professor at Pepperdine University. He ended up leaving her and she reported their relationship to the Dean, who subsequently asked for Weathers’ resignation. Weathers lost his professorship and tenure as a result of the relationship.

S.W. completed her treatment at Passages and went home to New Hampshire. Soon after, they began to correspond via e-mail. Their friendly exchanges continued until February 2003, when the messages became more intimate. Soon after, she flew back to California where they visited. Sexual intercourse ensued. This was only two months after the conclusion of the patient-therapist relationship.

In December 2003, Weathers resigned from Passages, relocated to New Hampshire and moved in with S.W. and her children. They were engaged on February 14, 2005 and married February 14, 2006. During the entire period, Weathers engaged in sexual intercourse with S.W.

In October 2006, Weathers flew to California to work at Passages for a week and had what S.W. described as a “meltdown,” after which he told S.W. he really wanted to move back to California. Weathers left S.W. in January 2007.

Later that year, they talked about getting back together. S.W. had arranged for them to attend some sort of marriage therapy in Seattle, Washington. Weathers told her that he would attend the therapy but then backed out.

Weathers is currently an unlicensed “life coach” in Malibu, California, where he specializes in, among other things, “couples communication” and “rehab aftercare.”

Source: Accusation and Stipulated Surrender of License and Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Robert Weathers, Ph.D., Case No. 1F-2008-190012, Before the Board of Psychology, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California.

Florida state hospital psychologist Jeffrey Benoit loses license; had sex with patient, married her

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on November 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm

On November 10, 2010, the state of Florida revoked the license of psychologist Jeffrey Lynn Benoit after he violated multiple laws while employed at Florida State Psychiatric Hospital at Chattahoochie.

On July 7, 2010, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an Administrative Complaint against Benoit, accusing him of having sexual relations with a patient, then marrying her while he was still married to his first wife. The DOH’s complaint states that the patient was committed to Chatahoochie in February 2008 following the commission of two incidents of arson (which the woman stated were suicide attempts) and that by May, Benoit began having sexual relations with the woman in his office at the hospital.

In July 2008, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the arson cases and ordered committed, remaining in the Florida State Hospital. Benoit’s unit supervisor asked him to stop treating the patient because “he seemed to be losing objectivity” with regard to her. She was transferred to the care of another psychologist.

Despite not being her doctor and against orders, he advocated for the woman’s release, resulting the hospital removing him from all resident contact and responsibilities the next day.

The day the woman was released, a hospital employee reported seeing Benoit at the woman’s home.

Before long, Benoit and the woman were living together. Benoit came under hospital internal investigation and resigned shortly thereafter.

DOH’s complaint states that a warranty deed shows Benoit and the woman bought a home together in February 2009 and a certificate of marriage from Houston County, Ala., shows they were married in March 2009 – while Benoit was still legally married to his first wife.

The former patient gave birth to a son in March 2010, the birth certificate naming Benoit as the father. They were both arrested a month later on domestic violence charges, according to the Department of Health complaint.

Benoit is currently wanted in Jackson County, Florida for failure to appear to answer to a battery charges. A warrant for his arrest was issued September 10, 2010.

Source: Administrative Complaint, Florida Department of Health v. Jeffrey Lynn Benoit, Ph.D., Case No. 2008-22227 and Morgan Carlson and Deborah Buckhalter, “Psychiatrist’s license revoked,” Jackson County Floridian, 21 November 2010.

Milwaukee psychologist charged with sexual exploitation of patients; attorney admits sex did occur

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on August 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

MILWAUKEE – A psychologist who has a Mount Pleasant office allegedly sexually exploited two patients, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Jeffrey A. Adamczak, 47, Oak Creek, faces two counts of sexual exploitation by a therapist. Each comes with the possible penalty of 7 1/2 years in prison.

Two women told Oak Creek police they had sexual contact with Adamczak while they were seeing him for therapy. According to court records, the alleged incidents took place at his Oak Creek office, 8825 S. Howell Ave. Adamczak is the executive director of and a psychologist with Psychological and Counseling Services; his office here is at 6929 Mariner Drive in Mount Pleasant.

Adamczak’s attorney, Gerald P. Boyle, said his client denies anything sexual happened while he was treating the women. Boyle said they intend to fight the allegations.

“We’re ready for this game,” Boyle said. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. We’re prepared to go into court and battle this one out. … We fully expect that we will prevail.”

Boyle said the question in this case is not whether or not there was any sexual contact between Adamczak and either of the women, but whether it occurred while he was either woman’s therapist.

“The only question here is did it occur when they were doctor and patient,” Boyle said. “It did not. It did not. Later a relationship existed, but I’m not going to go into that more.”

(Editor’s note: Mr. Boyle is apparently unaware that though he may get his client’s criminal charges dismissed due to the possibility that sex did not occur during therapy or during the patient-therapist relationship, that sexual activity with a patient or former patient within two years of the termination of professional services may be grounds for disciplinary actions [such as suspension or revocation of Adamczak’s license] by the state Board of Psychology.)

The first woman told police she began seeing Adamczak for therapy in February 2002. While she was a patient, she said, Adamczak said things like “My wife asked me out of all my patients is there anyone you would be interested in and I told her you,” and that “If you were with me I would treat you like the queen you are.”

The woman said she filed for divorce in February 2005. A week later, she said, she went to give Adamczak a hug at the end of her session, which was routine. She said he spun her around and touched her genitals. They then kissed, she told police, and had sex on his office couch the next day.

After that, the woman said, Adamczak told her she could no longer be considered his patient and that there would be no further record of her visits. A patient termination summary was signed on March 1, 2005, and she said their relationship lasted through February 2006.

The second woman said she was a patient of Adamczak’s from mid-2001 until January 2005. She said at the end of a session in October 2004, Adamczak hugged her, and that they hugged at the end of each session after that. During her Dec. 23, 2004 session the woman said she “got the sense that Adamczak was looking at her differently,” according to the criminal complaint. At the end of the session, the woman said Adamczak kissed her, then turned her around and touched her genitals and breasts.

The woman said her last session with Adamczak was on Jan. 6, 2005. She said she went to the session because she was very confused and wanted to find out what had happened. She said Adamczak never mentioned the touching, and that they decided she would no longer see him as a therapist. At the end of the session the woman told police Adamczak said “If you lose the 60 pounds you want to lose, I’ll get the hotel room.”

Adamczak made his initial appearance on the charges Friday afternoon. He was given a $1,000 signature bond, and ordered not to have contact with the women, their families or places of employment. The Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing shows his license is active, though a spokesman said Adamczak is the subject of an open investigation.

Source: Janine Anderson, “Therapist charged with having sexual relations with patients,” Journal Times, August 13, 2010.

San Fran psychologist Steven A. Korn charged with sexual exploitation of patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on July 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

Criminal charges have been filed against a San Francisco based psychologist who allegedly had sex with one of his patients, according to a press release from the DA’s office. The defendant, Dr. Steven Allen Korn, was arrested today.

Korn, 61 at the time of the alleged crime, is said to have had sex with the twenty something female patient in his office, on two occasions, during her therapy sessions.

“Based upon the allegations, the defendant betrayed a vulnerable patient who trusted him,” said District Attorney Kamala D. Harris.

The allegations come from court documents filed in 2008. The prosecution is the result
of an investigation by the Medical Board of California Investigator Tracy Tu, and San Francisco District Attorney Lieutenant of Investigations Carlos B. Sanchez. Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron is prosecuting the case.

Dr. Korn is charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation by a Psychotherapist, both misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for each count is six months in county.

Anyone with information regarding professional misconduct by Dr. Korn should contact Lt. Sanchez at (415) 551-9569.

Source: Samantha Bell, “SF Shrink Accused of Sexual Exploitation of a Patient, SFPD Wants To Know If He Exploited You, Too,” San Francisco Appeal (online newspaper), July 21, 2010.

Psychologist Burt G. Hollenbeck facing trial on 30 counts sexual assault on patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on July 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm

On April 28, 2010, a Cheshire County grand jury indicted New Hampshire psychologist Burton G. Hollenbeck on 30 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, alleging that he engaged in sex with a patient.

Hollenbeck was indicted as well in March on eight counts of felonious sexual assault, two counts of violating a protective order and one count of witness tampering.

It is not clear if the April charges are additional to the March ones or replacing them.

The March indictments allege that Hollenbeck had sex eight times with the patient between March and October 2008.  The current indictments specify that it was between February and December 2008.

The alleged victim and her husband began seeing Hollenbeck for marriage counseling in mid-2006.  Upon learning that the wife had been abused when she was younger, Hollenbeck asked her to go into one-on-one therapy with him.

Hollenbeck’s office manager “blew the whistle” on the alleged affair.

Both the wife and husband have filed separate lawsuits against Hollenbeck for mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages, legal fees and other damages suffered due to his “wanton, malicious and oppressive” actions.

In late January  2010, Hollenbeck agreed to quit practicing psychology in New Hampshire while under investigation by the state Board of Psychology.

Source: “Keene psychologist faces additional charges,” The Keene Sentinel, “April 28, 2010.

Psychotherapist Alan Shulik, arrested late ’09 for sexual assault, is now sued by client

In sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on July 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

A New Haven therapist charged with second-degree sexual assault for allegedly having a relationship with a suicidal and depressed client is being sued by the client and her husband.

The couple, named as John and Jane Doe in the lawsuit to protect their privacy, list 13 counts against Guilford resident Alan Shulik, 58, in a complaint filed recently in Superior Court in New Haven.

The state Department of Public Health is investigating Shulik, and an attorney for the couple says the state shouldn’t allow him to continue practicing.

The husband and wife have each filed counts of reckless infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The wife also filed counts of reckless battery and negligent battery, while the husband filed a count of loss of spousal consortium.

“She and her husband come for help to keep their marriage together because they had a very ill child, which was putting a lot of stress on the marriage, and he (Shulik) does everything possible to separate them and take advantage of her,” said New Haven lawyer Steven Errante, who represents the couple along with New Haven lawyer Marisa Bellair. “It’s the most egregious thing a psychologist can do to a patient.”

While they hope to possibly prevent Shulik from continuing as a therapist, Jane Doe and her husband also want compensation for medical bills and lost income, since the incident has affected the woman’s career, Errante said.

Shulik allegedly had a sexual relationship with Jane Doe for more than a year beginning in 2008 after she came with her husband for marriage counseling to his practice, Bishop Street Counseling.

He advised the pair that separate sessions would be more effective, and began an on-again, off-again relationship with Jane Doe, often making degrading remarks about her husband, according to Shulik’s arrest warrant.

The two had intercourse at Shulik’s home and office and at hotels. The woman tried to commit suicide in February 2009 by swallowing pills after Shulik broke up with her, but the relationship resumed a few months later until Shulik claimed he got married.

Jane Doe reported Shulik to police in August. He was arrested in October on a charge of second-degree assault, which involves a psychotherapist and a patient engaging in sexual intercourse either during a psychotherapy session, when a patient or former patient is emotionally dependent on the psychotherapist, or when there is therapeutic deception.

Shulik pleaded not guilty in March and is due again in court July 9. Stamford lawyer Alexander Hernandez represents Shulik in his criminal case.

A call asking if Hernandez will represent Shulik in the civil case was not returned, and Shulik could not be reached for comment Monday.

Shulik continues to practice, according to an attendant at his office’s answering center, and the state Department of Public Health is investigating him, according to spokeswoman Diana Lejardi. Lejardi declined to specify how long the investigation has gone on or what prompted it.

Source: Susan Misur, “Accused Guilford therapist now faces suit over sex with client,” New Haven Register, July 1, 2010.

State revokes counselor Andrew B. Phillip’s license for sex with teen client

In sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist, Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm

On May 6, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) revoked the credential of registered counselor Andrew Phillips for unprofessional conduct.

The DoH’s charges against Phillips (which were issued in April 2010) state that between July and August 2009, Phillips, who was then employed at at Community Counseling Institute of Tacoma, provided drug and alcohol counseling to a 17-year-old female client.   Between approximately October 2009 and November 2009, the client was placed with Phillips and his wife in the course of a dependency action.  Between these latter dates, Phillips is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with the teenager, including but not limited to hugging and kissing the client, fondling client’s breasts, sexual intercourse and mutual oral sex.

Phillips was given the opportunity to respond to the charges in a DoH hearing but affirmatively waived his opportunity for a hearing in the matter.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order (Waiver of Hearing) in the Matter of Andrew B. Phillips, Credential No. RC 60010154, Case No. M2010-314, State of Washington Department of Health, filed May 6, 2010 and Vernal Coleman, “Tacoma Drug Counselor Accused of Having Sex With 17-Year-Old Former Patient,” Tacoma Weekly, April 21, 2010.

Minnesota psychologist and counseling center director Terry Zuehlke gets suspended for sex with former patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist, Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 9:11 am

The Minnesota Board of Psychology has disciplined Terry Zuehlke, a Golden Valley psychologist, for having a sexual relationship with a former patient.

The board suspended his license indefinitely, it said in a disciplinary action released Tuesday.

The board said that Zuehlke, who was executive director of Pathways Psychological Services in Golden Valley, treated a patient between 2001 and 2004 for individual and couples counseling. Within several months of ending their professional relationship, Zuehlke and his client saw each other socially, then they engaged in sexual activity, the board said.

Zuehlke violated state statute and board rules by having a sexual relationship with a patient within two years of terminating a professional one, the board said. It suspended his license for 21 months. To have his license reinstated, Zuehlke must undergo a psychological evaluation, agree to treatment if recommended, and take courses in professional protocols. He must also pay a fine of $2,500.

Source: “Golden Valley psychologist is disciplined by state board,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 25, 2010.

Australian psychologist Viviana A. Bell suspended for relationship with patient

In psychologist, sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist on May 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm

In March 2010, the State Administrative Tribunal suspended psychologist Viviana Angela Bell of Perth, Australia for seven months.

Bell admitted to having started a personal relationship with a male patient, buying a house with him and signing a notice of intention to marry.

The patient had come to therapy seeking counseling for a marriage breakup and stated that between 2005 and 2008, he paid for a trip to Melbourne, gifts for her three children, housing expenses and presents—he claimed to have spent thousands of dollars on her and children before discovering she was in relationships with two other men as well.

In addition to her suspension, she was ordered to undertake counseling regarding “proper boundaries with male clients.”

Source: Torrance Mendez and Colleen Egan, “Psychologist banned for affair,”
The West Australian, April 24, 2010.