Psych Crime Reporter

November 23, 2011

Patients say that psych hospital staff covered up sexual assaults

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:30 pm

The Mental Health Minister of Victoria, Australia, Mary Wooldridge, has asked her department to investigate Eastern Health’s (a health care provider in Melbourne, Australia)  handling of a series of sexual assault complaints that former psychiatric patients allege have been covered up.

Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson also yesterday urged mental health patients with concerns about Eastern Health’s response to complaints of sexual assault to contact her office.

The Age has recently reported several cases involving female mental health patients who have reported being raped or sexually assaulted while under the care of Eastern Health and its Maroondah psychiatric unit.

The former patients have claimed they were pressured by Eastern Health staff to forget about the alleged incidents, including one where a male nurse was accused of sexually harassing a young woman under his care.

In some cases examined by The Age, police were not called and the parents of a teenage girl who was sexually interfered with while admitted to an Eastern Health facility were not notified.

A spokesman for Ms Wooldridge last night told The Age the Department of Health had been asked to examine the specific circumstances of the cases reported by The Age.

Eastern Health has denied it has a problem with managing sexual assault complaints from psychiatric patients.

But Ms Wilson said patients with mental illnesses were ”especially vulnerable and require special protection”.

As Health Services Commissioner, Ms Wilson is empowered by legislation to investigate patient complaints about health services and to provide policy advice.

Asked if an investigation into Eastern Health’s handling of sexual assault complaints from psychiatric patients was required, she said: ”I would be in a better position to answer this question if I had direct contact with patients who have made the reports.

”I understand the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist is following up some issues and practices at Eastern Health. If any patients or their carers want to contact my office I encourage them to do so.”

Victoria’s Public Advocate, Colleen Pearce, said she had concerns about the lack of safety for women in mixed-sex adult acute psychiatric wards.

Source: Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie, “Sex assault silence leads to Eastern Health probe,” The Age, November 22, 2011.

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Medical board: Nine kids accused psychiatrist Charles Fischer of sexual abuse

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:01 pm

The Texas Medical Board on Tuesday temporarily suspended the medical license of a child psychiatrist accused of sexually abusing his mentally ill patients. Documents filed as part of the board’s decision show that Dr. Charles Fischer was accused of abuse by at least nine youths, a number higher than previously reported, and added details about the allegations.

In its unscheduled hearing, the medical board ordered Fischer to stop practicing medicine until further notice because he presented “a continuing threat to the public welfare.” Texas Medical Board spokeswoman Leigh Hopper described the action as similar to a temporary restraining order.

“It’s definitely an extreme measure,” she said. “You have to have a certain level of evidence.”

Although Fischer has not been charged with any crime, four law enforcement agencies are conducting a joint investigation into his case: the Texas Rangers, the attorney general’s office, the Austin Police Department and the Office of Inspector General for the Health and Human Services Commission .

His lawyer, Antonio Cobos , did not return calls Tuesday. He has said previously that Fischer “vehemently” denies all the claims against him.

Hopper said that the board takes such action about a dozen times a year, typically when a physician has a substance abuse problem or has been criminally charged.

During the hearing, a three-member panel makes “findings of fact,” which, while based on evidence presented to the panel, are not considered the same as facts in a court of law. Fischer will be given the chance to appeal the ruling.

Fischer, 59 , is accused of sexually abusing children while working at Austin State Hospital. After a five-month investigation, the state Department of Family and Protective Services told hospital officials in October that it had confirmed two cases of sexual abuse against hospital patients. The agency, which investigates claims of abuse in state facilities, terms a case “confirmed” if the preponderance of evidence indicates the allegations are true.

During the investigation, Fischer was permitted to continue working with children. Supervisors restricted his conduct with patients, ordering him not to, among other things, touch any patients or provide counseling behind closed doors. When the protective services agency confirmed the two abuse cases in October, Fischer was immediately placed on leave and fired Nov. 14.

The two cases are the only ones that the protective services agency has confirmed to date.

The medical board’s order added new details to a case in which specifics have so far been scarce because of the sensitivity of the allegations and patient privacy laws.

According to the medical board’s order of temporary suspension, seven Austin State Hospital patients between the ages of 13 and 17 made allegations against Fischer between 2001 and 2006 . A Travis County grand jury heard accusations of sexual abuse of a child against Fischer in 2002 but did not bring charges against him.

An eighth accusation described in medical board documents came from a 16-year-old patient who said he was abused in 1992 at the Waco Center for Youth, a state-run psychiatric facility for children up to 18.

“We have no formal record of him working at Waco Center for Youth, but we think (Austin State Hospital) informally loaned him to the center on a part-time basis for a period of time in the early 1990s ,” said Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services, which oversees the hospitals. “We are looking into it.”

A ninth patient accused Fischer of abuse when he was working at the Southwest Neuropsychiatric Institute in San Antonio, the order said. Although the order does not identify a year, Fischer worked at the center from 1982 to 1984 as a child psychiatry resident, according to licensing documents filed with the medical board.

Some patients had been sexually abused by family members, according to the suspension order. A prepared statement issued by the board said all of them were male.

The board’s order has graphic descriptions of the purported sexual abuse. Most involve fondling and oral sex.

“These allegations are, frankly, devastating to us,” Williams said.

The order also said the incidents occurred in Fischer’s office, where, according to the medical board documents, he shut and locked the door when seeing patients.

In response to the unfolding case against Fischer, state officials late last week released new rules for mental health professionals at the state hospital. Those mandates include keeping therapy doors unlocked during sessions and only providing individual treatment services in rooms with windows or other locations where professionals can be directly observed by other employees.

The department also ruled that staffers under investigation for sexual abuse must be transferred to another unit or placed on emergency leave.

Fischer also has worked for other mental health organizations, the medical board order shows: Central Counties MHMR, which, according to its website, provides mental health services to five Central Texas counties; and Lutheran Social Services, an Austin-based nonprofit group that runs residential treatment centers for troubled children.

Lutheran Social Services spokesman Scott Carroll said that Fischer was never an employee but a contractor who provided psychiatric services to youths at its Canyon Lake and Corpus Christi facilities.

Carroll said records show Fischer worked for the nonprofit before 1999; however, it doesn’t have details because those records have since been destroyed. None of the current employees at those residential treatment centers worked there at the time, he said.

“We know of no evidence in our possession that would indicate any wrongdoing of any kind by Dr. Fischer while he was at our facilities,” Carroll said.

Source: Andrea Ball and Eric Dexheimer, “Psychiatrist’s license suspended; medical board cites up to 9 claims of child sex abuse,” Austin American-Statesman, November 22, 2011.

November 19, 2011

South African psychology board: Sexual harrassment complaints on the rise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:24 pm

The most recent “Psychology News” newsletter issued by the Health Practitioners Council of South Africa (March 2011), contained this brief item:

Complaints of sexual harassment on the increase

The HPCSA is concerned about the apparent increase in the number of sexually related complaints lodged against healthcare practitioners.

Council has been investigating numerous cases so far this year and there has been an alarming increase in the amount of cases that have gone on to a formal inquiry stage.

“It is shocking that there are practitioners who are abusing their powers and bringing the highly esteemed profession into disrepute”, Ms Marella O’Reilly, Acting Registrar and CEO said.

See here.

Counselor married former client’s wife; is now charged with sexually assaulting stepdaughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:36 am
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SAN ANTONIO — Larry Dell Etter is a licensed professional counselor indicted on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Etter met Jessie’s family when he served as a counselor to her father. He eventually married Jessie’s mother.

Etter’s alleged victim, who is now 18, said for years she suffered in silence.

“My step-dad had been sexually abusing me,” Jessie says.

Jessie is a National Hispanic Scholar, attending a private school with plans to go to college and become an English teacher. She says for 8 years she kept the secret of her abuse.

“Don’t be afraid to talk about it. If I could go back, I would have spoken up sooner,” she says.

The 60-year-old Etters is still allowed to practice. But if he is convicted he will lose his license.

The alleged victim’s family members are concerned professional counselors can still practice even after being arrested and indicted.

Since the alleged victim was not a client the Texas Board of Examiners and Professional Counselors has no authority to investigate the incident. They are waiting for the outcome of the  trial to take action.

Etter is also under review for failing to report his arrest to the state board that oversees counselors.

He is expected in court January 19.

Source: James Muñoz, “Counselor charged with sex assault of child still allowed to practice,” KENS Channel 5 (San Antonio, TX), November 18, 2011.

Medical board appears unmoved by psychiatrist’s justifications for sex with patient

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:14 am

Psych Crime Reporter comment: It is hard to believe that the attorney for psychiatrist Dinesh Singh could have expected the Health Professions Council of South Africa (which suspended Singh’s license for 12 months due to his sexual affair with the female patient) to set aside the suspension of Singh’s license based on the arguments that:

  • Singh didn’t initiate the relationship.
  • Singh is a father of two and the sole income source in his household.
  • That at the time he became involved with the patient, it was because he was vulnerable, due to the recent loss of his own wife.

These are some of the same (lame) arguments used by psychiatrists and psychologists worldwide to make it seem acceptable that they had sex with a patient or patients. But there is no justification for sexually exploiting a patient who came to you for help with their own problems–that’s why the ethical codes that govern the conduct of psychologists and psychiatrists specifically prohibit sex with current and former patients.

 

STORY:

DURBAN psychiatrist Dinesh Singh should have acted as the “bigger” person in keeping his relationship with a patient he had an affair with strictly professional, Moeti Kanyane, the attorney for the Health Professions Council of South Africa, argued at Singh’s appeal hearing yesterday.

In February, Singh, who practises at Life Entabeni Hospital and at Durdoc Medical Centre in the Durban city centre, was found guilty of unprofessional conduct and handed a 12-month suspension for having a sexual relationship with a patient in 2009.

Singh pleaded guilty to the charge but has appealed against his sentence.

Representing Singh, advocate Jean Marais SC argued that the sentence was too harsh for a man who was a father of two young boys and a breadwinner. He said although the offence was serious, the sentence should be suspended.

Marais said the disciplinary committee should consider that Singh had no previous convictions, that he had pleaded guilty and that, should he be suspended for 12 months, his patients would suffer.

He said the woman in question had initiated the relationship and that, at time of the relationship, Singh had been vulnerable as he had just lost his wife.

“The patient played an active role in pursuing the relationship,” he said.

Kanyane said the appeal against the sentence was “unfortunate” because it was too lenient. He said the committee should understand the seriousness of the charge and that the doctor had acted unprofessionally.

“The work of a psychiatrist is to diagnose and treat a mental disorder; this makes his patients vulnerable.”

Kanyane said Singh should have known better than to have a relationship with a patient and should have been the “bigger” person in dealing with his feelings towards the woman.

He said the argument that the woman had initiated the relationship was not tenable because Singh was not charged with initiating a relationship, but for taking part in it.

“I do not think that his sentence was harsh. In my view, the sentence was lenient.”

The Committee’s decision will be makde known on December 13.

Source: Nompumelelo Magwaza, “Doctor’s misconduct sentence ‘too harsh’,” www.iol.co.za, November 16 2011

University of Chicago psychiatrist gets maximum sentence for federal sex crimes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:13 am

SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge on Friday sentenced Mani Batchu, a 32-year-old adolescent psychiatrist from Chicago, to three decades in prison for luring teen girls into sexual relationships over the Internet.

Batchu’s victims included a 15-year-old from South Hadley – who appeared along with her family in U.S. District Court for the sentencing – and two more unknown girls FBI agents found were featured in sexually explicit home videos when they seized his computer in 2009.

The South Hadley teen sobbed in court as her father and mother spoke, telling a story of the unraveling of their family after she met Batchu. The doctor preyed on her with a barrage of text messages, endless phone calls, flowers, gifts and songs he penned for her, according to investigators and the girl’s statement in court.

Mani Batchu mugshot

U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor, who typically trends toward the lighter end of a hefty sentencing guideline range, bypassed the bottom end of the spectrum and gave Batchu the maximum 30 years behind bars. Batchu capped a lengthy sentencing hearing by, in a puzzling move, taking the witness stand and launching into a monologue that included suggesting a moment of silence for all the victims involved.

“No,” Ponsor said curtly.

Batchu pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple charges related to transporting a minor and traveling across state lines for illicit sex. He apologized to the South Hadley victim, “Minor A,” her family, his parents and his colleagues at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. Of Indian descent, Batchu and his defense lawyer intimated that it was culturally appropriate to court a significantly younger girl as a wife, and he was casting about on the web for lifetime companionship.

Ponsor rejected the cultural defense and seemed otherwise unpersuaded.

“I have a very, very strong sense that you are a supreme phony and what we just heard was a pretentious, frothy, narcissistic performance,” the judge said. “I have not seen a more determined course of criminal conduct in 28 years on the bench.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow told Ponsor that Batchu went to great lengths to have sex with the girl, including catching a flight from Chicago in one instance and making the 16-hour drive straight though in another. He even continued stalking the girl after her parents called police, had been arrested in Chicago and had been charged criminally in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

He initally told Minor A his name was “Mark Taylor,” significantly low-balled his age and sent a fake photo, Breslow said in court, and then roped the girl in with charm, wit and promises of a secure future.

“The defendant used all of his skills … his charm and intelligence, and his ability to relate to people in general and children in particular,” Breslow said. “This was a truly perverted courtship.”

Batchu even traveled to Massachusetts to give the girl a “secret cell phone” when her mother took hers away, and secretly flew to Florida for a clandestine meeting while the family was on vacation to escape the trauma of the investigation.

The girl’s father told Ponsor that the experience has all but emotionally debilitated his daughter, unable to complete her senior year of high school and barely able to leave her bed most days. Tragically, the experience drove one of three sons to suicide, the man said.

“This horrendous episode has had a devastating effect on my family,” he said. “(My daughter) is depressed, guilt-ridden and unable to function.”

Minor A submitted a written statement her mother read to the court.

“He was always just a text message or a phone call away … He got me to do things a 15-year-old should never know about,” her statement read.

Batchu was expressionless when Ponsor delivered the withering assessment of Batchu’s remarks to the court after handing down the sentence. However, he chatted pleasantly with his friends and family members in the courtroom before the proceeding began, reporting that he has been very busy in prison.

“Im reading a lot of books. I don’t even think I read this many books in medical school,” he said with a smile.

Source: Stephanie Barry, “Mani Batchu, Chicago adolescent psychiatrist, sentenced to 30 years for luring teen girls into sexual relationships over the Internet,” The Republican, November 18, 2011.

November 18, 2011

Universal Health Services

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:46 pm
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From the Psychcrime.org website:

If you are a former patient of a mental health facility operated by Universal Health Services (UHS) and were abused or otherwise harmed by staff or treatment while receiving services there, please report your abuse to Citizens Commission on Human Rights at swagner@cchr.org.

List of UHS facilities:

Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, Fort Walton Beach, FL

Alabama Clinical Schools, Birmingham, AL

Alhambra Hospital, Rosemead, CA

Alliance Health Center, Meridian, MS

Anchor Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Arbour – Fuller Hospital, South Attleboro, MA

Arbour – HRI Hospital, Brookline, MA

Arbour Counseling Services, Rockland, MA

Arbour Hospital, Boston, MA

Arbour Senior Care, Rockland, MA

Arrowhead Behavioral Health, Maumee, OH

Atlantic Shores Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Aurora Pavilion Behavioral Health Services, Aiken, SC

Austin Lakes Hospital, Austin, TX

Belmont Pines Hospital, Youngstown, OH

Benchmark Behavioral Health Services, Woods Cross, UT

Bloomington Meadows Hospital, Bloomington, IN

Blue Mountain Academy, Grand Terrace, CA

Boulder Creek Academy, Bonners Ferry, ID

Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare of Mississippi, Flowood, MS

Brentwood Hospital, Shreveport, LA

Brighton Behavioral Health Center, Portsmouth, VA

Bristol Youth Academy, Bristol, FL

Brooke Glen Behavioral Health, Fort Washington, PA

Brynn Marr Hospital, Jacksonville, NC

Calvary Center, Phoenix, AZ

Canyon Ridge Hospital, Chino, CA

Cedar Grove Treatment Center, Murfreesboro, TN

Cedar Ridge Hospital, Oklahoma City, OK

Cedar Ridge Residential Treatment Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Cedar Springs Behavioral Health Services, Colorado Springs, CO

Centennial Peaks Hospital, Louisville, CO

Center For Change, Orem, UT

Central Florida Behavioral Hospital, Orlando, FL

Chicago Children’s Center, Chicago, IL

Clarion Psychiatric Center,  Clarion, PA

Coastal Behavioral Health, Savannah, GA

Coastal Harbor Treatment Center, Savannah, GA

Columbus Behavioral Center, Columbus, IN

Community Behavioral Health, Memphis, TN

Compass Intervention Center, Memphis, TN

Copper Hills Youth Center, West Jordan, UT

Cottonwood Treatment Center, So. Salt Lake, UT

Creekside Academy, Sacramento, CA

Crescent Pines Hospital, Stockbridge, GA

Cumberland Hall Hospital, Hopkinsville, KY

Cumberland Hospital, New Kent, VA

Cypress Creek Hospital, Houston, TX

Del Amo Hospital, Torrance, CA

Desert Valley Hope Academy, Hemet CA,

Diamond Grove Center, Louisville, MS

Dover Behavioral Health System, Dover, DE

Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital, Panama City, FL

Fairfax Hospital, Kirkland, WA

Fairmount Behavioral Health System, Philadelphia, PA

FHCHS of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR

Fieldston Preparatory School, Titusville, FL

First Home Care – VA, Portsmouth, VA

Forest View Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI

Fort Lauderdale Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Foundations Behavioral Health, Doylestown, PA

Foundations for Living, Mansfield, OH

Fox Run Center for Children and Adolescents, St. Clairsville, OH

Fremont Hospital, Fremont, CA

Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Glen Oaks Hospital, Greenville, TX

Good Samaritan Counseling Center, Anchorage, AK

Gulf Coast Treatment Center, Fort Walton Beach, FL

Gulf Coast Youth Academy, Fort Walton Beach, FL

Hampton Behavioral Health Center, Westampton, NJ

Harbor Point Behavioral Health Center, Portsmouth, VA

Hartgrove Hospital, Chicago, IL

Havenwyck Hospital, Auburn Hills, MI

Heartland Behavioral Health Services, Nevada, MO

Heritage Oaks Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Hermitage Hall, Nashville, TN

Hickory Trail Hospital, DeSoto, TX

High Point Treatment Center, Cooper City, FL

Highlands Behavioral Health, Littleton, CO

Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services, Birmingham, AL

Holly Hill Hospital, Raleigh, NC

Horace Mann Academy, Rockledge, FL

Horizon Health Management, Lewisville, TX

Intermountain Hospital, Boise, ID

Jefferson Trail Treatment Center, Charlottesville, VA

Kempsville Center for Behavioral Health, Norfolk, VA

Keys of Carolina, Charlotte, NC

Keystone Center, Wallingford, PA

Kingwood Pines Hospital, Kingwood, TX

La Amistad Behavioral Health – Adult Program, Winter Park, FL

La Amistad Behavioral Health Services, Maitland, FL

Lakeside Behavioral Health System, Memphis, TN

Laurel Heights Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center, Dothan, AL

Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, San Antonio, TX

Liberty Point Behavioral Healthcare, Staunton, VA

Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta, Augusta, GA

Lighthouse Care Center of Conway, Conway, SC

Lincoln Prairie Behavioral Health Center, Springfield, IL

Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health System, Radcliff, KY

Macon Behavioral Health System, Macon, GA

Manatee Palms Group Homes, Bradenton, FL

Manatee Palms Youth Services, Bradenton, FL

Marion Youth Center, Marion, VA

McDowell Center for Children, Dyersburg, TN

Meridell Achievement Center, Liberty Hill, TX

Mesilla Valley Hospital, LasCruces, NM

Michiana Behavioral Health Center, Plymouth, IN

Midwest Center for Youth and Families, Kouts, IN

Millwood Hospital, Arlington, TX

Milton Girls Juvenile Residential Facility, Milton, FL

Mission Bell Academy, Riverside, CA

Mojave Ridge Academy, Victorville, CA

Morongo Basin Learning Academy, Morongo, CA

Mountain Youth Academy, Mountain City, TN

Natchez Trace Youth Academy, Waverly, TN

National Deaf Academy, Mt. Dora, FL

Newport News Behavioral Health Center, Newport News, VA

North Spring Behavioral Healthcare, Leesburg, VA

North Star Behavioral Health System – Debarr, Anchorage, AK

North Star Behavioral Health System – Palmer, Palmer, AK

North Star Hospital, Anchorage, AK

Northwest Academy, Naples, ID

NorthWest Academy, Streamwood, IL

Oak Plains Academy, Ashland City, TN

Okaloosa Youth Academy, Crestview, FL

Okaloosa Youth Development Center, Crestview, FL

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services, Winston-Salem, NC

Palmetto Behavioral Health – Pee Dee, Florence, SC

Palmetto Behavioral Health – Summerville, Summerville, SC

Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health, North Charleston, SC

Panamericano (Cidra), Cidra, PR

Parkwood Behavioral Health System, Olive Branch, MS

Peachford Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Peak Behavioral, Santa Teresa, NM

Pembroke Hospital, Pembroke, MA

Pinnacle Point, Little Rock, AR

Poplar Springs Hospital, Petersburg, VA

Prairie St. Johns, Fargo, ND

Pride Institute, Eden Prairie, MN

Professional Probation Services, Norcross, GA

Provo Canyon School, Provo, UT,

Provo Canyon School – Springville Campus, Springville, UT

Rancho Academy of Learning, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Rancho San Diego Academy, San Diego, CA

Rivendell Behavioral Health Services, Bowling Green, KY

Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas, Benton, AR

River Crest Hospital, San Angelo, TX

River Oaks Hospital, New Orleans, LA

River Park Hospital, Huntington, WV

River Point Behavioral Health, Jacksonville, FL

Riverdale Country School, Palm Bay, FL

Riveredge, Forest Park, IL

Rock River Academy, Rockford, IL

Rockford Center, Newark, DE

Rolling Hills Hospital, Franklin, TN

Roxbury Treatment Center, Shippensburg, PA

San Marcos Treatment Center, San Marcos, TX

Sandy Pines, Tequesta, FL

Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health Services, Tulsa, OK

Shadow Mt-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, OK

Sierra Vista Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Somerset School in Riverside, Riverside, CA

South Texas Behavioral Health System, Edinburg, TX

Spring Mountain Sahara, Las Vegas, NV

Spring Mountain Treatment Center Las Vegas, NV

Springwoods Behavioral Health, Fayetteville, AR

St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, St. Louis, MO

St. Simons By-The-Sea, St. Simons Island, GA

Stonington Institute, North Stonington, CT

Streamwood Hospital, Streamwood, IL

Streamwood Residential Treatment Center (Elgin), Streamwood, IL

Summit Oaks Hospital, Summit, NJ

SummitRidge Hospital, Lawrenceville, GA

Talbott Recovery Campus, Atlanta, GA

Texas NeuroRehab Center, Austin, TX

The BridgeWay, North Little Rock, AR

The Brook – Dupont, Louisville, KY

The Brook – KMI, Louisville, KY

The Carolina Center for Behavorial Health, Greer, SC

The Horsham Clinic, Ambler, PA

The Hughes Center, Danville, VA

The Meadows Hospital / Universal Community Behavorial Health, Centre Hall, PA

The Pavilion at Northwest Texas, Amarillo, TX

The Pavilion Foundation, Champaign, IL

The Ridge Behavioral Health System, Lexington, KY

The Vines Hospital, Ocala, FL

Three Rivers Behavioral Health West, Columbia, SC

Three Rivers Residential Treatment – Midlands, Columbia, SC

Timberlawn Mental Health System, Dallas, TX

TMC Behavioral Health Center, Sherman, TX

Turning Point Hospital, Moultrie, GA

Turning Point Youth Center, St. John’s, MI

Two Rivers Psychiatric Hospital, Kansas City, MO

University Behavioral Center, Orlando, FL

Upper East Tennessee Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Johnson City, TN

Valle Vista Health System, Greenwood, IN

Virgin Islands Behavioral Services, St. Croix, VI

Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center, Virginia Beach, VA

Walton Youth Development Center FL

Wekiva Springs Hospital, Jacksonville, FL

Wellstone Regional Hospital, Jefferson, IN

West Hills Hospital, Reno, NV

West Oaks Hospital, Houston, TX

Westwood Lodge, Westwood, MA

Willow Springs Center, Reno, NV

Windmoor Healthcare, Clearwater, FL

Windsor-Laurelwood Center, Willoughby, OH

Wyoming Behavioral Institute, Casper, WY

November 16, 2011

Woman charged with impersonating psychologist (Hmm…patients couldn’t tell the difference.)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:35 pm

A former Atlantic Beach (New York) resident was arrested in Westbury yesterday after falsely claiming to be a psychologist between 2008 and 2010.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Amora Rachelle, known professionally as Dr. Amora, allegedly treated patients in her home despite not having a license to do so. In one documented case, Amora allegedly received more than $3,400 from Geico for providing mental health services to a car accident victim.

In addition, Rachelle allegedly lied to the New York state courts in February 2009 while unsuccessfully applying for a position on a panel of court-appointed psychologists. At the time Rachelle only had a limited permit, meaning she could only practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, Rice said.

She was allegedly denied a full license in December 2009 by the New York State Department of Education’s Office of the Professions. Rice said she continued to see patients out of her home despite being denied her license.

The case against Rachelle originated in the New York State Education Department, which noticed unusual activity while reviewing her application for a license as a psychologist.

Rice said Rachelle bilked clients out of more than $8,000. She is currently facing several felony charges, including grand larceny, falsifying business records, scheming to defraud, offering a false instrument for filing and unauthorized practice. If convicted, she faces up to seven years in prison. Rachelle is due back in court on Friday.

Source: John Callegari, “LI woman charged with impersonating a psychologist,” Long Island Business News, November 16, 2011.

November 15, 2011

South African psychiatrist Ray Berard accused of patient sexual exploitation, involvement in family business

INSTEAD of hearing details of the intimate relationship between psychiatrist Ray Berard and patient Sylvia Ireland, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) heard reasons why the hearing should be postponed.

The professional conduct inquiry was expected to go ahead yesterday and today, but Berard’s representative, Graham van der Spuy, instead argued for a postponement to allow for more preparation time.

In July 2008 Ireland wrote to the HPCSA accusing her former psychiatrist of having used her therapy sessions, for more than two years, to have sex.

Her husband Stuart Ireland, a high-profile businessman in the beauty industry, was footing the bill for the sessions.

Stuart Ireland died two years ago while attempting to obtain a divorce, citing her affairs and lavish spending as reasons for the end of the marriage.

Sylvia Ireland said Berard used his position as her psychiatrist and marriage counsellor to prescribe her a number of drugs, blackmail her into having sex, control her marriage, and go into business with her husband.

According to the news magazine Noseweek, Stuart Ireland appointed Berard as a director of his company Prestige Cosmetics while the psychiatrist continued to send erotic SMSes to Sylvia Ireland.

Sylvia Ireland then confessed details of the affair to her husband, prompting Berard to resign as director.

Dressed all in black with a leopard print jacket, Ireland stared straight ahead throughout the hearing at the Belmont Conference Centre in Rondebosch, Cape Town, yesterday, avoiding eye contact with Berard.

According to the charge sheet, Berard was guilty of unprofessional conduct in that, during the period October 2005 until February 2008, he had a doctor-patient relationship with Ireland.

The charge sheet said Berard had “Misused the position of trust and confidence towards your patient by entering into an intimate physical relationship with her and/or having sexual intercourse with her.”

The hearing continues.

Source: Michelle Jones, “Bid to delay psychiatrist’s sex case,” Independent Online, URL: http://www.iol.co.za

November 14, 2011

Medical board adds charges against Anna Nicole Smith psychiatrist

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:53 pm

On October 12, 2011, the Medical Board of California issued a Second Amended Accusation against psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich, to include the charge of Conviction of a Crime.

On July 13, 2011, the Board issued its initial Accusation against Eroshevich for dishonest acts, creation of false record and unprofessional conduct. The amended Accusation alleges that in two instances, Eroshevich submitted claims for psychiatric evaluations which she indicated she’d conducted when in fact he had never met with either of the patients. In one case, which occurred in 2006, a workers workers compensation claimant met with an employee of Eroshevich’s who took a psychiatric history and then with a colleague who performed a mental status exam. The claimant did not at any time meet with Eroshevich but the 38-page report which she provided stated “I, Kristine Eroshevich, M.D., Ph.D, personally took the pertinent history of the applicant and performed the psychiatric examination.” In the other instance, which occurred in 2004, a claimant met with a colleague of Eroshevich’s, who took a psychiatric history and performed a psychiatric examination but never met with Eroshevich. Nevertheless, Eroshevich provided a 44-page report which contained numerous statements such as “I took the applicant’s history and performed the psychiatric evaluation,” which were false.

Source: Accusation in the Matter of the Accusation Against Khristine Eroshevich, M.D., License No. C37980, Case No. 17-2009-197998, Medical Board of California.

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