Psych Crime Reporter

January 25, 2013

Bond revoked for psychiatrist charged with sexual assault

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:09 pm

An arrest warrant has been issued for Dr. Charles Fischer, a psychiatrist accused of sexually abusing multiple youths while working at Austin State Hospital.

Fischer, 60, has been free on bond since June of last year, when a Travis County grand jury indicted him on multiple counts of sexually abusing minor patients in his care. But on Wednesday, Fischer was arrested for allegedly having sex with another male in a wooded area off Rollingwood Drive. He immediately posted bail and was freed.

On Friday, Judge Karen Sage revoked bonds related to his sexual abuse cases. Fischer is expected to be in custody by the end of the day.

Source: Andrea Ball, “Bond revoked for psychiatrist accused of sexual assault,” Austin American-Statesman, Friday, January 25, 2013.

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Cops find disturbing videos of women on psychiatrist’s computers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:05 pm

LONDON, Ont. — Investigators are asking former patients of suspended psychiatrist Stanley Dobrowolski to contact them after finding disturbing videos of women on his computers, police said.

In videos taken between 2007 and 2012, at least seven women are shown undergoing physical examinations by Dobrowolski — who is already charged with sexual assault and voyeurism with another former patient — said Insp. Kevin Heslop, with the London, Ont., police.

“They were videoed without their knowledge in situations where he conducted physical examinations on them. . . and psychiatrists typically are not permitted to conduct physical examinations,” said Heslop.

He said police will also be trying to track down the women through patient lists. They want to speak to each woman to determine levels of “informed consent,” Heslop said.

“We want to reassure women that this will be done with the greatest discretion and with their best interests,” he said.

Investigators are asking former patients to phone (519) 660-5842. The former patients can also e-mail project@police.london.ca.

Source: Jennifer O’Brien, “Disturbing videos of women found on psychiatrist’s computers: Cops,” The London Free Press, January 24, 2013.

Psychiatrist’s wife arrested for allegedly trying to bribe juror for “not guilty” verdict in sex assault trial

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:00 pm
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As the jury began deliberating on the fate of former court psychiatrist Dr. Aubrey Levin on Friday for charges of sexually assaulting nine patients, his wife remains in hot water for allegedly trying to bribe one of the jurors.

Erica Levin, who had been in court every day for more than three months of the trial, spent two days in remand and the last two weeks on bail under house arrest after Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley, presiding over her 73-year-old husband’s trial, cited her for contempt.

Shelley reluctantly dismissed the female juror on Jan. 14 as a precaution after the woman wrote a letter to her outlining the alleged bribe three days earlier, then ordered Mrs. Levin, 69, to be arrested.

“This is an extremely serious matter. If proven, it is a serious criminal matter with serious criminal consequences,” the judge said. “We have a juror who has done nothing wrong regarding her oath and instructions.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear we should put a lot of faith in the juror’s oaths and the ability to instruct themselves. The public might think that being offered a bribe — if that is what occurred — the juror could not put it out of her mind.”

The juror told the judge that she recognized the woman, who offered her either $1,000 or $10,000 in a white envelope at the 5th Street LRT platform adjacent to the courthouse in payment for a not-guilty verdict, as having sat in the gallery behind her husband many times in the trial that began in October.

The juror also told the judge the perpetrator said “my husband” at least twice.

Erica Levin was prohibited from attending the courthouse and to not contact any jury member in any way as long as it continues. She was subsequently released on bail by another judge, Justice Ron Stevens, on $25,000 in non-cash surety and placed under 24-hour house arrest until her husband’s trial has concluded.

The trial has continued with the remaining 11 jurors.

City police continue to investigate, have acquired closed-circuit video involving the alleged bribe, and criminal charges could also be laid after Dr. Levin’s trial.

It was the final incident in a trial that has been plagued by numerous delays as a result of more than 20 applications, some by Crown prosecutors Bill Wister and Dallas Sopko but most by defence — Dr. Levin’s original lawyers Alain Hepner and Maureen McConaghy, whom he dismissed, and subsequent counsel Chris Archer and Karen Molle.

The jury was unaware of any of the applications or the alleged bribe, as all happened in their absence and were under a publication ban until they were sequestered.

The trial, which started in late September, has stretched from what was originally to be two weeks long to nearly four months.

Initially, Hepner sought and was denied an application to have the trial adjourned for three months because of the accused’s frail physical health, including heart problems and what was described as morbid obesity.

Then, another jury ruled Dr. Levin was mentally fit to stand trial, despite his doctor’s declaration he has early symptoms of dementia and his wife’s testimony that he is very forgetful of many words and does bizarre things such as walking around with his fly open.

During the trial, defence failed to persuade the judge on four occasions to declare a mistrial and once to remove herself from the case.

Several other applications involved the Crown’s bid to seize the accused’s medical records after he failed to show up to court because he was in hospital.

Levin originally faced a total of charges of sexually assaulting 21 male patients, but 11 of the counts were withdrawn at the preliminary hearing stage and the trial began with 10 counts.

One of those counts was stayed during the trial and the complainant was never called. The other nine complainants all testified.

The key evidence involved videos taken by the initial complainant, RB, who used a wrist watch spy camera to videotape two sessions with Dr. Levin, during which the accused is seen fondling him.

In the final session, on March 16, 2010, Levin fondles RB for nearly 15 minutes.

The accused doctor did not testify in his defence but in a videotaped police interview played in court he claimed he was conducting medical procedures on RB.

It was after he was charged that police released a media statement and the other complainants came forward.

Source: Daryl Slade, “Aubrey Levin’s wife arrested for allegedly trying to bribe juror,” Calgary Herald, January 25, 2013.

Jury to decide fate of Calgary psychiatrist Aubrey Levin, accused of sexual assault

Filed under: psychiatrist,sexual abuse — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:22 pm

CALGARY – Jurors will be charged on Friday with determining a verdict in the trial of a Calgary psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting several of his patients.

It has been over three months since the trial for Dr. Aubrey Levin began.

He’s facing ten counts of sexually abusing nine of his patients.

The Crown alleges the abuse took place over 11 years from 1999 to 2010, including some patients who were court-ordered to see Levin.

In his final arguments, Crown prosecutor Bill Wister told the jury the alleged victims were sitting ducks, and were the last people on earth a psychiatrist would expect to speak out.

During the trial, the jury viewed graphic video the chief complainant said was secretly recorded, showing allegedly inappropriate contact from Levin.

Source: Melissa Ramsay, “Jury to decide fate of Calgary psychiatrist accused of sexual assault,” Global News, January 25, 2013.

The man who took the video says he was assaulted by Levin numerous times during court-ordered counseling sessions.

Levin has said he was conducting an examination to check for sexual dysfunction.

The 73-year-old was found physically able to stand trial, but his lawyers argued that he has dementia and does not understand the justice system.

His defence lawyer Chris Archer has told the jury the nine men who accuse him of sexual assault are motivated by money and have fabricated their allegations.

Scottish psych nurse loses license for locking patient in room

Filed under: license revoked,patient abuse,psychiatric hospital or facility,psychiatric nurse — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:10 pm

A nurse at a Tayside psychiatric hospital has been suspended from practising for three months after locking a patient in a room and walking away.

Susan Sutherland trapped the man in a room at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth to “see what he would do”.

Ms Sutherland, who was sacked after the incident in December 2010, has always denied the charge against her.

A Nursing and Midwifery panel ruled that Ms Sutherland remains a risk and could put patients at unwarranted harm.

The panel heard from healthcare assistant Gary Boyle, who said he had managed to persuade Patient A into a bathroom in an attempt to bathe him, only for the patient to run out of the room naked.

The patient ran into and lay on the floor of a smoking room on the ward, before Ms Sutherland and Mr Boyle managed to convince the man to return to his room.

But when the patient returned to his room, an irate Ms Sutherland shut the door, locked it and told Mr Boyle she “was locking his door for five minutes to see what he would do before she “stormed off down the corridor away from Patient A’s room”.

The incident was reported to Margaret Cullen, the nurse in charge at Glenelg Ward and Ms Sutherland was suspended two days later.

Source: “Psychiatric nurse suspended after locking naked patient in room,” STV, January 13, 2013.

Pig farmer sues Chinese government after being detained in psychiatric hospital

Filed under: government control,involuntary commitment,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:01 pm

A COURT in northeast China has begun to hear a case in which a farmer is suing government departments in an eastern city, claiming they forced him into psychiatric hospital.

Liu Gang, who ran a pig farm in Linyi City in Shandong Province, said he was admitted to a hospital’s mental illness unit on September 19, 2008, reported the People’s Court in Beizhen City, Liaoning Province.

Liu, a native of Beizhen, had been trying to file a complaint over the sudden deaths of his pigs following epidemic control measures by local authorities, the court heard.

Liu said he was released from the hospital on October 8, 2008, but sent there again on January 6, 2009, after asking for an “explanation” from the bureau of complaints and civil affairs over the first admission. His second stay lasted 36 days.

On Friday, the defendant and plaintiff argued whether Liu’s personal freedom was illegally restricted and whether he suffered from mental illness. Both parties agreed for Liu to take psychiatric tests.

Source: “Pig farmer sues gov’t after forced into ‘psychiatric hospital’,” Sina, January 20, 2013.

January 17, 2013

Death of teenager in psych hospital blamed on understaffing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:59 pm

(Note: The hospital in this new story, Westwood Lodge, is operated by Universal Health Services. )

Profits over patients was the message for the jury from lawyers for Theresa Payne, whose 14-year-old daughter died from complications from an untreated brain tumor while she was a patient at the Westwood Lodge psychiatric hospital.

The Essex Superior Court civil trial began today with dueling opening statements, where Payne’s attorney argued that the hospital was understaffed and ignored days of complaints from Monique Payne about headaches and vomiting.

A lawyer for Westwood Lodge argued staffing was adequate, and pointed out that Monique Payne had made similar complaints but didn’t need treatment. In reality, her tumor was causing her brain to fill with fluid.

“The pressure in the head got worse and worse and worse for four hours and five minutes without a call to her doctor. It compressed, herniated, her brain stem causing her death. By the time she gets to Boston, she’s essentially dead,” Payne’s attorney, Ben Novotny, told the jury.

Westwood Lodge lawyer Thomas Farchione told jurors in his opening statement that the nurses who are defendants in the case did everything they should have to meet the standard of care.

“Over thirty times the health care providers were looking at her, talking to her, assessing her. That many people can’t be wrong,” he said.

Theresa Payne was the first to take the stand, telling jurors about her teen daughter.

“She wanted to sing and dance. She wanted to be more of a singer. She wanted to meet Michael Jackson,” she said. “That’s what she wanted to do.”

Source: “Psych. hospital death blamed on understaffing,” Fox25, January 16, 2013.

January 11, 2013

NY psychiatrist Gino Grosso sentenced on controlled substance conviction

Filed under: controlled substances,crime and fraud,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:50 pm

On July 3, 2012, psychiatrist Gino J. Grosso surrendered his license to the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (BPMC), in response to a charge of professional misconduct. According to the BPMC’s statement of charges, on or about January 5, 2011, Grosso pleaded guilty to the felony of delivery of or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He was sentence June 14, 2011 to no less than three nor more than 10 years in prison.

Ridiculous interest rate gets counselor Brooke Randolph in hot water

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:44 pm

On August 9, 2012, the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Board placed licensed mental health counselor Brooke Randolph on probation for no less than one year.

The Board’s order states that Randolph, who in the capacity of court-ordered parenting coordinator failed to make every reasonable effort to advance the welfare and best interests of the client by charging monthly compounded interest at 5%, more than three times the rate recommended by the Indiana Parenting Coordination Guide; failed to deal honestly with her clients by producing invoice statements which failed to list an APR, the generation date and other pertinent information and by frequently changing the format of the invoices she sent the client.

Randolph also disclosed confidential information regarding the client, the ex-spouse and their child to an unrelated third party.

The Board’s documents states that Randolph’s billing procedures resulted in interest charges to the client in excess of 40% for parenting coordination services.

Clinical social worker Elizabeth Covington surrenders license over sex with inmate patient

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:28 pm

On August 6, 2012, clinical social worker Elizabeth Covington surrendered her license to the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.

In May 2011, Covington was employed at New Castle Correctional Facility (NCCF), where she taught anger management and provided other mental health services.

On or about January 2, 2012, the NCCF Internal Affairs received a tip indicating that Covington was engaging in a sexual relationship with a New Castle inmate.

Investigators detected that she’d begun clocking in for work a half hour earlier beginning in November 2011.

Internal affairs agent caught Covington alone in her classroom with an inmate and upon interviewing her, she admitted to sexual acts with the inmate and trafficking contraband into NCCF for him.

Covington was charged April 12, 2012 with felony sexual misconduct and misdemeanor trafficking with an inmate.

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