Psych Crime Reporter

May 4, 2013

Bill pending in Louisiana legislature would make psychotherapist sex with patients a crime

BATON ROUGE — A Lafourche Parish lawmaker has introduced legislation that he said would better define the sexual boundaries that should be applied to psychotherapists and their patients.

Rep. Dee Richard, no party affiliation, Thibodaux, said he attempted to take the issue in from several different angles when drafting House Bill 226.

The legislation is expected to be debated during the regular session that convenes Monday.

SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF HOUSE BILL 226, TO MAKE THERAPIST SEXUAL CONTACT A CRIME IN LOUISIANA: http://chn.ge/10i7tXs

“When you are under a psychotherapist’s care, you are very vulnerable,” Richard said. “There are a lot of cases out there where sexual contact occurred and it did not end well. This is something we should do a better job of avoiding.”

Richard’s bill would create a new crime that prohibits “sexual contact by a psychotherapist.”

It would not only target psychotherapists but also any person who “fraudulently represents himself as or purports to be a psychotherapist.”

The proposed law would apply more specifically to psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, mental health counselors and “any other person who provides or purports to provide treatment, diagnosis, assessment, evaluation, or counseling of any mental, emotional, behavioral, or addictive illnesses, disorders, symptoms, or conditions.”

As the bill is drafted, none of these individuals would not be allowed to engage in sexual contact with a client or patient, current or former.

Richard’s bill goes into great detail as to what constitutes a sexual act and seeks to cover a wide array of sexual scenarios.

”Some people may have a problem with the bill, in terms of consensual sex, and I am trying to address that,” Richard said.

SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF HOUSE BILL 226, TO MAKE THERAPIST SEXUAL CONTACT A CRIME IN LOUISIANA: http://chn.ge/10i7tXs

Under the bill, a psychotherapist would be allowed to have sexual contact with a former client as long as it occurs one year after their professional medical relationship ends.

There must also be a paper trail showing that the psychotherapist referred the former patient to an “independent and objective psychotherapist, recommended by a third-party psychotherapist, for treatment.”

According to the legislation, the consent of the patient alone “shall not be a defense.”

The penalties for breaking the proposed law would be imprisonment for no more than 10 years, a fine up to $10,000 or both.

If the sexual contact occurs by means of “therapeutic deception,” the bill calls for a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $20,000 fine or both.

Therapeutic deception, as defined in the bill, means a representation by a psychotherapist that sexual contact is “consistent” with part of their patient’s treatment.

Richard said a local constituent brought the idea for the legislation to him, and the person is expected to testify during the regular session although the person was not prepared to be interviewed this week.

The legislation has been assigned to the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF HOUSE BILL 226, TO MAKE THERAPIST SEXUAL CONTACT A CRIME IN LOUISIANA: http://chn.ge/10i7tXs

Source: Jeremy Alford, “Bill examines psychotherapists’ sexual relationships with patients,” HoumaToday.com, April 6, 2013.

October 22, 2012

UK psych nurse David Swankie loses license for sex with former patient

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,psychiatric rape,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:48 pm

A MALE nurse has been struck off for having sex with one of his former psychiatric patients.

David Swankie approached the woman at the hospital where he worked and asked her to become Facebook friends, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

He claimed he believed the woman, who he had treated in the past but was no longer his patient, had been discharged two weeks before the start of their six-month relationship in June 2010.

She was, however, awaiting a post-discharge meeting.

During an investigation by NHS Fife in July 2010, it came to light that Swankie had also become Facebook friends with three other female patients who were on his caseload at St Andrews Memorial Hospital.

His behaviour came to light after a colleague raised concerns.

Swankie was struck off this week after admitting 24 charges of misconduct, which also included repeatedly failing to see patients referred to him between February 2009 and July 2010.

In one case, a patient who took an overdose waited almost 12 weeks to be seen, despite two letters from her worried GP requesting an urgent appointment.

Swankie was dismissed by NHS Fife after a disciplinary hearing in November 2010.

Source: “Male nurse struck off for having sex with psychiatric patient,” The Daily Record and Sunday Mail,” October 13, 2012.

Dallas psychiatrist Barry Fenton charged with making sexual advances on patient…again

Filed under: psychiatric rape,psychiatrist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:46 pm

In July of 2006, Dr. Barry Fenton began treating a woman for depression and anxiety at the office of the Uptown practice of Live Oak Counseling Center. It was 16 months later that the relationship moved outside of his office, not to mention the bounds of the typical relationship between mental health provider and patient.

They dated only briefly, ending their relationship in February 2008, four months after it started, and Fenton took steps to ensure the woman continued to receive psychiatric treatment. Word of the relationship made its way to the Texas Medical Board, however, which frowns upon such things. On August 10, 2009, Fenton entered into an agreed order with the board, submitting to a public reprimand, a requirement that he attend a “professional boundaries” course, and pay a $5,000 penalty.

The agreement also required that Fenton be accompanied by a chaperone when treating female patients, though that provision was rescinded once he completed the required coursework.

That may have happened too soon, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Dallas County. An elderly patient of Fenton’s, identified in court filings only as Jane Doe, claims that Fenton sexually exploited her for years. The petition doesn’t give specifics, saying only that Fenton made sexual advances and had sexual contact with the woman. He also engaged in “therapeutic deception” by telling the patient to keep his behavior secret.

The woman is seeking unspecified damages for past and future mental anguish and other injuries from Fenton and Live Oak Counseling Center. The office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Source: Eric Nicholson, “Dallas Psychiatrist Accused of Making Sexual Advances on a Patient — Again,” Dallas Observer (blog), October 3, 2012.

September 25, 2012

Yet another UK psych nurse is struck off for sex with a patient

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,psychiatric rape,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:07 pm

A mental health nurse who started a sexual relationship with a patient in her care before bombarding him with texts when he broke it off has been struck off.

Deborah Boulton was said to have met a male patient and given him her mobile number, texted him messages saying ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’.

The band 6 nurse’s actions fell ‘seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse’, a tribunal ruled, saying her ability to practice is impaired by reason of her misconduct.

She was said to have met the man, known as Patient A, at the Sutherland Centre, for people with poor mental health, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, in early 2009.
Relationship: A tribunal heard Deborah Boulton had sex with one of her patients five times after meeting him at the Sutherland Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

Relationship: A tribunal heard Deborah Boulton had sex with one of her patients five times after meeting him at the Sutherland Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told Boulton gave the patient, who had previously been treated in hospital for an alleged overdose of diazepam and alcohol issues, her mobile number and texted him, telling him ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’.

During their relationship the pair had sex around five times: once in a hotel, once in his mother’s house and approximately three times in Boulton’s house.

The patient claimed when he tried to finish the relationship Boulton bombarded him with calls and texts until he destroyed his mobile phone to avoid contact from her.

The panel heard Boulton went on to take sick leave leading to her case load being re-allocated, which eventually resulted in claims of their relationship emerging.

The allegations came to light when Patient A attended a counselling session in August, where he suggested to a counsellor that he had suffered a relapse because of the relationship, the hearing was told.

Boulton was not present and not represented at the hearing in central London last week, but had denied the allegations.

The NMC Competence and Conduct Committee panel struck Boulton off, finding she breached professional boundaries by giving Patient A her phone number and instructing him to call her, and also found she had failed to maintain accurate records and failed to create a care plan for him.

The panel accepted evidence given by Patient A that Boulton left voicemail messages on his phone saying words to the effect of: ‘If you do not come and see me now then you will never see me again’, and ‘I will end the relationship and you will be alone because you will never see me again’.

It also found proved allegations that the Boulton took the patient to Frankie and Benny’s in Newtown, Stoke-on-Trent, between May and June 2009, and to dinner with a friend in May 2009, and also that she bought him alcohol on two occasions.

‘By placing her own needs above the needs of Patient A, Ms Boulton breached the fundamental tenets of the profession.’

The panel also found proved claims that the couple had sex on around May 12, 2009, in Patient A’s bedroom at his mother’s house in Longton; and that they stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Stoke-on-Trent near Britannia Stadium, where they also slept together.

It was also found proven that during May and/or June 2009, the pair had sex approximately three times at Boulton’s home.

Deciding whether the facts proved amounted to misconduct, the panel ruled Boulton’s actions fell ‘seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and amounts to misconduct’.

Striking her off, it said her failings were ‘significant departures’ from the standards expected.

‘By placing her own needs above the needs of Patient A, Ms Boulton breached the fundamental tenets of the profession and the panel is of the view that to allow her to continue practising would fail to protect the public, and undermine public confidence in the profession and in the NMC as a regulatory body.’

An 18-month Interim Suspension Order was also put in place to allow for the possibility of an appeal. If Boulton does not appeal within 28 days, then the order will be replaced by the striking-off order.

Source: “Mental health nurse who had sex with patient then bombarded him with texts when he ended relationship is struck off,” Daily Mail Reporter, September 18, 2012.

State charges psychiatrist Richard J. Pines with sex abuse of children

The Idaho State Board of Medicine has filed a complaint against a Boise child and adolescent psychiatrist alleging he had improper sexual contact with four former patients or foster children and had a three-year affair with an adult patient to whom he was prescribing painkillers.

The complaint against Dr. Richard J. Pines was filed on June 28 and alleges abuses dating back to June 2001. He has denied the allegations in his response to the board. Pines’ attorney, David Cantrill, declined comment.

The board is seeking a hearing on whether Pines’ license should be suspended or revoked or if he should face other punishment. No criminal charges have been filed.

The board’s complaint alleges that in two cases Pines told young men he needed to practice giving massages to naked bodies to maintain his medical license and improperly touched them, including one who was 14.

Pines acknowledged taking naked pictures of another patient who was about 14 while they were at Pines’ cabin in Garden Valley and acknowledged taking money to that patient before Pines was interviewed by Boise police in March 2011, the board’s complaint alleges.

In January 2011, the board alleges Pines told a former foster child that he needed a “test patient” on whom to practice hernia exams and that he acknowledged giving that person $2,000 after the incident.

The board also alleges Pines prescribed controlled substances to an adult patient with whom he had a three-year affair without records showing that the patient needed the medication. The board said the last prescription, for acetaminophen and codeine, was filled in June 2010.

Pines has been licensed to practice medicine in Idaho since June 1997 and has worked at several places including Boise Public Schools and Saint Alphonsus Health System.

Source: “Medical board files complaint against Boise doctor,” Associated Press, August 27, 2012.

September 11, 2012

UK psych nurse who had sex affair with patient predicted she’d end up stocking supermarket shelves. She was right

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,psychiatric rape,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:33 pm

A MENTAL health nurse has been struck off after cheating on her boyfriend with a patient.

Aberdeenshire nurse Linda May Thomson, 47, has been barred after drinking cava with the patient, visiting pubs and going to football matches with him.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel said the case was an “extremely serious” breach of professional boundaries.

Allegations

The 47-year-old faced 19 charges of misconduct including having a sexual relationship with “Patient A”, who suffers from manic depression, while working at Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen.

The charges, which relate to early 2009, say they had a “sexual relationship”, “kissed on one or more occasion” and “engaged in sexual touching on more than one occasion.”

Thomson, who worked in the hospital’s Corgarf ward, was also charged with staying overnight at the man’s house and accepting a key to his flat.

She admitted only one charge, saying their relationship was platonic, but the panel found all allegations against her proved.

The NMC hearing took place behind closed doors but the written decision of the panel has now been made public.

Relationship

Ms Thomson’s relationship with the man, referred to only as “Patient A”, began after she returned some of his possessions which he had left at the hospital after being discharged on 9 January.

The NMC’s detailed statement said one of Ms Thomson’s colleagues, Dr Pauline Larmour, gave evidence that: “Any unauthorised contact with patients currently under care or patients who have been released from care would be inappropriate in all circumstances”.

Despite this, the nurse accepted a key to his flat and exchanged gifts with him, and as the relationship developed they exchanged gifts.

The NMC statement said: “[Patient A] describes these occasions in graphic detail and was able to relate places, and dates and circumstances and he was consistently able to recount these instances to a variety of people over the period of a year.

“Ms Thomson in her evidence, to [a colleague], when asked if she had kissed or cuddled Patient A, she replied “a wee bit further than that”.

Drunk

The panel noted that at one point Ms Thomson said “I’m going to be stacking shelves in Tesco” while discussing the patient with a colleague, suggesting she knew she was doing something wrong.

The panel said: “She also was in a relationship and lived with her partner at the relevant time.”

Evidence was taken from a doctor who had known Patient A in a professional capacity for a number of years. He said Patient A’s medical condition did not give him a “propensity to lie or fantasize”.

The same witness also told the panel that Patient A’s account of his sexual relationship with Ms Thomson “has never changed”.

“Patient A’s medical condition means that he is good at recalling times, dates and conversations in great detail,” said witness.

“Vulnerable”

The panel also heard from a Ms Hawcutt that on an evening out around March 2009, when they had both been drinking and were drunk, Ms Thomson had disclosed to her “that she was seeing another man”.

Ms Hawcutt asked Ms Thomson if it was Patient A as “she had an instinctive feeling that it was him”.

She said that Ms Thomson had said to her “How do you know?” or words to that effect.

She then asked if she had had sexual intercourse with Patient A. Ms Thomson did not say anything, but Ms Hawcutt formed the impression from the look she had given her that she had.

The panel concluded that the case was “extremely serious”, adding that the man was a “vulnerable patient who appeared to have low self esteem”.

Ms Thomson said her relationship ended after Patient A assaulted her at a bus stop in April 2009.

The panel said: “This incident led to his arrest and subsequent conviction.

“Ms Thomson reported this incident to the Hospital which led to an investigation and subsequent referral to the NMC.”

Ms Thomson was neither present nor represented at the NMC hearing.

But admitted at an earlier stage in the proceedings that she “wholeheartedly regrets the consequences of her actions”.

Source: “Nurse struck off after cheating on boyfriend with patient,” Neil Pooran, Deadline (blog), August 31, 2012.

August 14, 2012

Board continues suspension of custody evaluator Brian K. Wald

On May 21, 2012, the Virginia Board of Psychology continued licensed clinical psychologist Brian K. Wald, on indefinite suspension.

The Board summarily suspended Wald on April 9, 2012, subsequent to a determination that his practice posed a substantial danger to public health or safety.

According to the Board’s Order, during the course of performing a child custody evaluation, as well as in the role of a parenting coordinator between November 2, 2009 and July 27, 2011 Wald on multiple occasions sat very close to Individual A, held and caressed her hands and arms in a romantic manner and hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. Wald admitted kissing the patient on the mouth on one occasion.

Individual A recorded her office on a hidden digital audio video recorder, which documented Wald’s inappropriate conduct. The Board found Wald’s testimony regarding his conduct to be not credible and to reveal a lack of insight, candor and contrition but found that Individual A had a consistent record of having related her complaints about Wald’s conduct to her therapist.

Source: Order in re: Brian K. Wald, License No. 0810-001650, Case No. 141257, before the Virginia Board of Psychology.

Psychologist Carrie E. Schaffer suspended over sex with former patient

Filed under: psychiatric rape,psychologist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:33 pm

On April 11, 2012, the Virginia Board of Psychology indefinitely suspended Carrie E. Schaffer, Ph.D.

According to the Board’s findings of fact, As of April 2011, Dr. Schaffer continued to be involved in an intimate and sexual relationship with a former client, which was the subject of an August 2010 Board Consent Order.

This same relationship was the basis for a 2009 Board reprimand. At that time, Schaffer allowed a patient to visit her home and to kiss her. She reported that the then-patient to visit her four time but on the fourth visit told the patient that she could not longer accept visits and self-reported her behavior to the Board.

However, the current Board document states that Schaffer was not truthful with the Board in 2009, as she later informed an investigative committee that the intimate and sexual relationship has continued up until present time. Her license will remain suspended for no less than one year.

Source: Consent Order in re: Carrie E. Schaffer, Ph.D., License No. 0810-002178, Case Nos. 134704 & 136697, before the Virginia Board of Psychology.

August 9, 2012

Judge denies bail for accused child molester psychiatrist William Ayres; will remain in custody until Oct. 1 hearing

Filed under: child molestation,psychiatric rape,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 10:31 am

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — A San Mateo County judge Wednesday denied bail for an 80-year-old former psychiatrist accused of molesting boys during examinations in the 1990s.

Judge John Grandsaert ordered that William Ayres, the former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, remain in custody without bail in San Mateo County Jail while awaiting an Oct. 1 hearing to determine his competency.

Ayres, dressed in orange jail garb with a long white beard, sat handcuffed in a wheelchair during today’s proceedings.

The defendant returned to the county last week after spending nine months under observation at Napa State Hospital, where doctors and staff were able to detect signs that Ayres had allegedly exaggerated symptoms of dementia in order to appear incompetent, according to the district attorney’s office.

Ayres faces nine counts of performing lewd acts on seven boys during counseling sessions that took place between 1991 and 1996.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Ayres is suspected of molesting as many as 30 other boys, but that the cases are now beyond the statute of limitations for prosecution.

A trial to determine Ayres’ competency ended in a mistrial in June 2011, when jurors could not agree on whether the defendant — who appeared to be suffering from dementia — would be able to assist in his own defense.

Based on the contents of a sealed report from Napa State Hospital, prosecutors now allege that Ayres used his extensive knowledge of psychiatry to fake symptoms of mental illness and mislead court-appointed doctors.

A criminal trial in 2009 also ended in with a hung jury, and the district attorney’s office decided within months to retry the case.

Source: “Bail denied for psychiatrist accused of molestation,” ABC-TV, August 8, 2012.

August 7, 2012

Report suggests child psychiatrist faked dementia to avoid molestation retrial

Filed under: child molestation,psychiatric rape,psychiatrist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:04 pm

A California child psychiatrist charged with sexually molesting five of his patients faked Alzheimer’s disease to avoid a retrial, a prosecutor says.

William Ayres, 80, of San Mateo, former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, appeared at a court hearing Friday in shackles and a prison jumpsuit, the San Jose Mercury News reported. He was in a wheelchair.

Ayres was committed to Napa State Hospital last year. In 2009, a jury deadlocked on sexual abuse charges filed against him.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan said a report by John McIlnay, a psychologist working for the state of California, suggests Ayres faked the symptoms of dementia and was able to use his knowledge of the field to get past tests meant to discover malingering. Judge John Grandsaert has sealed the report.

“I am skeptical of anything the doctor has done up to this point,” McKowan said after the hearing. “Based on the report, we have reason to believe this whole thing was a hoax and we have been duped.”

Grandsaert scheduled a full hearing Oct. 1 in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Source: “Report: Psychiatrist faked dementia,” UPI, August 4, 2012

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