Psych Crime Reporter

October 29, 2012

Psychologist John William Visher arrested on charge of sex crime with 8-year-old; lawsuit

Filed under: child molestation,child pornography,psychologist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:00 pm

SANTA CRUZ — A civil lawsuit has been filed against a Capitola psychologist who is facing criminal charges of sexual abuse against a child.

Dr. John William Visher was arrested last month at his La Selva Beach home after Capitola police investigated allegations that he committed lewd acts against an 8-year-old girl. The girl had been his patient and detectives believe the incidents occurred at Visher’s former Bay Avenue office in 2009.

Last week, the girl’s family filed a personal injury suit against Visher in the civil divisions of Santa Cruz County Court. It charges him with sexual harassment, professional negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks unspecified damages.

Visher pleaded not guilty on Oct. 9 to five felony charges that include lewd acts upon a child, sending obscene material and possession of material depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct. He is due back in court Nov. 14.

The family is being represented in their civil suit by attorney and psychologist Joseph C. George.Capitola police detective Sarah Ryan said earlier this month that the alleged acts against the girl were first reported in January but the investigation was complicated by doctor-patient privilege issues.

Ryan said her continued investigation has uncovered complaints about abuse of two boys who were ages 6 and 10 at the time. Ryan has re-interviewed the boys and her investigation into those incidents is ongoing.

“While Ms. Doe is very sad that her daughter was abused by the defendant after two minor patients had previously been harmed by Dr. Bill, she is also extremely grateful to law enforcement officials who investigated this case against a trusted, child psychologist who has treated Santa Cruz area kids for 30 years,” George said.

Visher’s license to practice psychology was suspended by the California Board of Psychology on Sept. 24 after his arrest on those charges. He was first licensed to practice psychology in the state in August 1982 and has no prior administrative citations or disciplinary actions on record with the agency.He has posted bail and is no longer in custody.

Capitola police urge anyone with more information to contact the department at 475-4242 and ask to speak with a detective.

Source: Jessica M. Pasko, “Suit filed against Capitola psychologist for allegedly sexually abusing a child patient,” Santa Cruz Sentinel,
October 22, 2012.



  1. Visher at one time touted himself as an expert on blended families, but that turned out to be his ruse to get people to buy his parents expensive books. Visher’s father, John, was a renowned child psych expert and Bill Visher tried to cruise on his fathers reputation. Turn’s out Dr. Bill as he called himself, was both a molester and a really lousy counsellor. Choosing to side only with our child’s mother and leaving my husband and me feeling like criminals, he placated us with phrases such as “you care too much”. Well, we cared and we happened to be correct about the impending problems that the child soon had with school dismisals and probation officers. Dr Bill was so blind, so stupid in the way he handled our family and yet we were the stupid ones while he milked our insurance and did nothing to help us at all. It was a year wasted and the inevitable problems arose as we had tried to explain to him, as we asked him for help but he spitefully sided with the other parent. He had all the signs but chose not to speak up, just to patronize the mother and once more milk our insurance. I think we even payed her co-pays to him!!! We were so hoodwinked by him and I loathe him. Now we find out he is a molester!!! He told us that he video taped sessions because he had “issues” before???!!! He did not molest our child but he needs to be recognized as a fraudulent character who was unfit to be in a position of authority period.

    Comment by Lilith Adams — May 20, 2013 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

  2. I agree with you. He saw someone I know for 19 years and continually was rude, insulting and billed the insurance for an hour even though he said he only had “20 minutes” for each visit. So for 19 years he was committing insurance fraud. When I went to confront him about it once he was disrespectful to me and acted like a sexual predator. He was so inappropriate with me that I felt I needed a shower. He gave me the creeps and I have to say I was not surprised to hear he had been arrested. He is a disgusting human being and I hope he is locked up for years. He deserves to lose everything and spend the rest of his life in prison. I have no doubt his advice to you was terrible because once I got this person into another PHD he made amazing strides in life and lost problems he had that this doctor created in is mind by being inept.. I think everyone that wasted time and money on this creep should sue with a class action. I do not even think he was qualified. What a pervert he is.

    Comment by Alexis — September 4, 2013 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  3. 2 likes

    Psychologist John William Visher arrested on charge of sex crime with 8-year-old; lawsuit | Psych Crime Reporter

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