Psych Crime Reporter

July 25, 2014

E. Texas psychiatrist charged with trafficking Indian women for sex, forced labor

Filed under: human trafficking,psychiatrist,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 7:37 pm

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – An East Texas psychiatrist has been arrested and charged in connection with what’s being described as a ‘forced labor conspiracy’ in New York.

Riyaz Mazcuri, was arrested Thursday by the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office and booked in the jail on a federal warrant.

According to documents from the federal court in the Southern District of New York, Mazcuri, known as ‘The Doctor,’ was indicted along with three other men accused of organizing a human trafficking organization.

Mazcuri is a psychiatrist who has practiced in Texas for several years in Houston and most recently at a facility in Kilgore.

Federal court documents state the men would hire female dancers in India under the assumption they would perform cultural programs in the United States. Prosecutors allege when they would get to the U.S., the women would be forced to dance in nightclubs in front of men for twelve to fourteen hours per night, seven nights a week. Some of the performers were reportedly engaged in prostitution. The men would reportedly force the women to perform by confiscating their passports and by threatening them with physical violence.

The group reportedly operated in New York and in other locations from 2008 to 2010.

According to jail records, Mazcuri has a Houston address. He was ordered into the custody of the U.S. Marshals until a detention hearing, scheduled for July 29 in Tyler.

Mazcuri’s attorney, listed as Joel Androphy of Houston, was unable to be reached Friday for comment regarding on his client’s arrest.

Source: Cody Lillich, “E. Texas psychiatrist arrested, accused of trafficking Indian women for forced labor, prostitution,” KLTV-7 (www.kltv.com), July 25, 2014. 

July 16, 2014

Prison psychologist Bobbie Bergmeier guilty of affair with convicted murderer

Filed under: prison psychologist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 7:31 pm

SHE thought he was “sexy” and wanted to be with him forever. The only problem was she was his psychologist and he was a convicted murderer.

Bobbie Bergmeier met the inmate — who can be referred to only as Client A — after she began working as a psychologist at Junee Correctional Centre in the NSW Riverina region in April 2010.

At the time, Client A was serving the final years of his 21-year sentence for murder and malicious wounding.

The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) alleges Ms Bergmeier began having intimate telephone conversations with him, declaring “she loved him and couldn’t wait to be with him” and “he was sexy and she wanted him forever”.

She resigned from the prison job in August 2011 but continued to stay in contact with him, visiting his family and friends, and applying to be his sponsor for weekend leave.

Client A was serving the final years of a 21 year sentence for murder and malicious wound

In a bid to cover up her relationship, Ms Bergmeier also used a colleague’s password to log into Client A’s case notes and change them to create “distance” between herself and him, the HCCC alleged.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, the Civil and Administrative Tribunal NSW found her guilty of professional misconduct, saying she “has been involved in a serious boundary violation and placed her client at risk”.

Although Client A was serving time for murder, the tribunal said he had been in jail all of his adult life with little opportunity to explore relationships.

He was “needy and dependent and psychologically vulnerable”, it heard.

Asked why she didn’t end the relationship when the stakes were so high, Ms Bergmeier told the tribunal her feelings were “so strong” that she didn’t think to.

The relationship started in prison but Client A and Ms Bergmeier are believed to still be

The relationship started in prison but Client A and Ms Bergmeier are believed to still be seeing each other. Picture:

Ms Bergmeier said she accepted responsibility for her actions and acknowledged that what she did was wrong.

She understood her conduct had breached her professional code of ethics.

The tribunal cancelled her registration, saying: “Her insight into the seriousness of her conduct and its impact on her client, her colleagues and the profession as a whole remains questionable.” Client A was released on parole in March.

Ms Bergmeier is now enrolled in a degree in primary school teaching at Charles Sturt University.

It is believed the pair are continuing to see each other.

Source: “Prison psychologist Bobbie Bergmeier guilty of misconduct over relationship with murderer inmate,” News.com.au, July 17, 2014.

August 7, 2013

Universal Health Services among defendants in sexual “grooming” suit

PHOENIX (CN) – A medical health technician seduced a mother of six at a psychiatric hospital, then got her to leave her family and “borrowed” $1,000 from her, the woman and her husband claim in court.

Kristiina Wuollet, and her husband Theodore claim that Clarence Copeland, then a medical health technician at Valley Hospital Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Care, began “grooming” Kristiina while she was a patient at the hospital.

They sued Copeland, the hospital, Universal Health Services, and Ascend Health Corp., in Maricopa County Court.

“During the duration that plaintiff Kristiina Wuollet resided at the facility, defendant Copeland began ‘grooming’ her, taking advantage of his position on her treatment team and of her vulnerability, through continuously flattering her and by initiating inappropriate intimate conversations with her,” the lawsuit states.

The Wuollets claim that Copeland’s job required him to “function as an active part of plaintiff’s treatment team, providing continuous patient care, supervision, interaction, and role modeling, and whose work was under the direction and care of a registered nurse.”

When Kristiina was discharged from Valley Hospital, Copeland got her contact information from her patient file and “began sexting with her and engaging her in numerous daily phone conversations,” according to the complaint.

Kristiina left her husband and children shortly after she was discharged, “moved in with defendant Copeland, and continued a sexual affair which had begun during her residency at the facility and continued for approximately eight months,” according to the lawsuit.

Theodore Wuollet says he filed a complaint with Valley Hospital after Kristiina was discharged, “providing evidence of the text message exchanges between his wife and defendant Copeland,” but Valley Hospital failed to respond.

The Wuollets, who have been married since 1987, claim Kristiina “was unable to protect herself from the exploitation she suffered at the hands of defendants.”

Copeland, who is no longer employed by the hospital, “abused his position of trust and ‘borrowed’ $1,000 from plaintiff Kristiina Wuollet, which has not been repaid,” the complaint states.

Copeland continued to contact Kristiina, including one instance “when he called her at her place of work and drove there to talk to her, threatening to move closer to her home so he could see her,” according to the complaint.

Valley Hospital did not respond by press time to a request for comment.

The Wuollets seek damages for breach of fiduciary duty, medical negligence, elder abuse and infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Terrence Woods and Marilyn Cage with Broening, Oberg, Woods & Wilson.

Source: Jamie Roos, “Hospital Tech Accused of Seducing Patient,” Courthouse News, August 7, 2013.

May 7, 2013

Psychologist John Cicconi loses license for sexual and abusive relationship with patient

Filed under: patient abuse,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation,sexual misconduct — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:24 pm

A long-time psychologist who had an intimate and physically abusive relationship with a mentally ill patient has been de-registered.

Vincent Cicconi, who practiced in Moonee Ponds, was reprimanded and found guilty of professional misconduct for the three-year relationship with a female patient 20 years his junior.

The patient, who cannot be named, first met Mr Cicconi in April 2008 for treatment for her depression, anxiety and personality disorder, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

The patient abused alcohol, ecstasy and cannabis and Mr Cicconi described her to Centrelink as “basically homeless” and “unable to look for work, given her mental state”, the tribunal heard.

After the third consultation, the relationship between Mr Cicconi and his patient became “unorthodox” when he invited her to have lunch with him at a cafe. This was followed by repeated shared meals, him giving her lifts home after consultations, going to the cinema, restaurants and concerts together and him giving her money.

The professional relationship ended after about two months but the sexual relationship began a short time later.

The Australian Psychological Society’s code of ethics states that psychologists cannot have sex with a former patient for at least two years after the professional relationship has ended, and even then, it must be discussed with a senior psychologist. The patient is also encouraged to have independent counselling.

Mr Cicconi allowed his patient to stay overnight at his house and at the end of 2008, she moved into his home for about two months.

In their recently published judgment, VCAT deputy president Heather Lambrick and members John Farhall and Marian Power said the relationship between Mr Cicconi and his patient was “erratic and tumultuous” and “characterised by conflict, recriminations, separations and reconciliations”.

In March 2010, during an argument at his house, Mr Cicconi punched the patient in the face. Police later successfully sought an intervention order on her behalf against Mr Cicconi.

In February 2011, the pair had a “physical conflict” which left her with a bloody hand. Mr Cicconi was granted a diversion on an assault charge in court, meaning no conviction was recorded.

Despite this, contact between Mr Cicconi and the patient continued, and in 2012, they met again and had sex.

Months earlier, Mr Cicconi lied to the Psychology Board of Australia when it asked him for contact details for the patient.

The tribunal, describing the patient as “extremely vulnerable”, said the violence, sexual relationship and living arrangements between Mr Cicconi and the patient were “reprehensible”.

“Mr Cicconi should have realised that his own objectivity and capacity to provide appropriate treatment and care would be impaired,” the tribunal said. “The psychologist and patient relationship should have been immediately terminated with appropriate arrangements put in place for (the patient’s) ongoing care. This did not occur.”

The tribunal said that although it accepted Mr Cicconi was not adequately qualified to deal with the patient’s complex needs, he should have referred her on to someone who was, and not pursued a relationship.

It added that it could not rationalise the patient’s vulnerability and the inherent power imbalance in the relationship and that the entire profession was brought into disrepute when practitioners exploited professional relationships for their own advantage.

Mr Cicconi was reprimanded and his registration was cancelled, effective mid-May. He is not allowed to reapply for registration for 15 months after the cancellation begins, and will need to show that the conduct will not be repeated.

Source: Adrian Lowe, “Sex with patient costs psychologist his job,” The Age, April 30, 2013.

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.

January 11, 2013

Worker at child psych center, 24, arrested for sex with patient, 13

Jackson police arrested a Madison Oaks Academy staff member early Thursday morning after another worker at the facility reported that the man was caught having sex with an underage female resident there.

Madison Oaks Academy, located at 49 Old Hickory Blvd, is a 73-bed residential psychiatric treatment facility for children between the ages of 10 and 18 “with emotional and behavioral disorders,” according to the facility’s website.

Officers received a call from the facility around 1 a.m Thursday. An employee at the academy reported to police that staff member Larry McIntosh, 24, had just been caught having sex with a 13-year-old resident, according to a news release from the Jackson Police Department.

The release said investigators concluded that a staff member was making early-morning rounds when the worker saw McIntosh engaged in the act.

“The staff member, who witnessed the incident, immediately alerted his superiors, who then notified police,” the release said. “McIntosh, 24, was arrested at the facility and booked into the Madison County Jail at 2:40 a.m.”

The Department of Children’s Services is assisting in the investigation, police said.

Police reported that Madison Oaks Academy suspended McIntosh pending the outcome of the investigation.

When The Jackson Sun contacted the facility Thursday afternoon to inquire about McIntosh’s position and employment history at the facility, a worker who answered the phone said Madison Oaks Academy has declined to speak on the matter at this time.

The academy’s website said the facility is “specifically designed for children and adolescents.”

“Our staff specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with disorders such as ADHD, PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, oppositional defiant disorder and other behavioral and mood disorders,” the facility’s homepage said Thursday. “A highly structured behavioral management program, with a level system, is implemented to assist residents in gauging their progress. It also assists residents in learning to accept responsibility for their own behaviors, both positive and negative.”

The facility is part of the Woodridge Behavioral Care centers also located in Arkansas and Missouri.

McIntosh is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 a.m. today in Jackson City Court on charges of aggravated statutory rape and statutory rape by an authority figure.

Source: Jordan Buie, “Madison Oaks Academy staffer faces sex charges; Employee reported seeing co-worker with 13-year-old,” Jackson Sun, January 10, 2013.

Janice Husted, DoD psychologist, charged with sexual assault of patient, a combat veteran

Filed under: psychologist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:19 pm
Tags:

Hollywood loves stories about psychiatrists and patients drawn into love matches during their shared time together — much of it involving a couch. But the folks at the Colorado Springs Police Department aren’t nearly as charmed by the concept. Just ask Dr. Janice Husted, who’s been arrested for allegedly getting horizontal with a client from the military.

janice husted mug shot cropped.jpg

Dr. Janice Husted

The attraction between the man and Husted, whose LinkedIn profile lists her as a clinical psychologist at the U.S. D

epartment of Defense, appears to have been a slow burn. According to the CSPD, the man was assigned to receive counseling related to his combat deployments in the summer of 2010.

The man says his relationship with Husted became considerably more hands-on in August 2011 and continued through October or November of that year.

Husted allegedly warned the man not to tell anyone else that they were, um, dating. When he complained about having to keep this secret, she’s said to have told him they could go public in a mere two years — and when that response didn’t satisfy him, she precipitated a break-up.

This decision didn’t get Husted off the hook. After a CSPD investigation, Husted was busted on New Year’s Eve. The charge against her — sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist — is a class-four felony.

The cops are still collecting information on the case. Anyone with more to share should phone the department at 719-444-7000 or Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers, Inc. at 719-634-STOP (7867).

Source: Michael Roberts, “Dr. Janice Husted, psychologist, charged with sex assault on military client,” Westword (blog), January 8, 2013.

December 10, 2012

Study concludes that psychiatrists almost four times as likely to be sanctioned for sexual misconduct

Filed under: psychiatrist,sexual exploitation,sexual misconduct — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:07 pm
The new analysis of a decade of discipline cases across Canada more than confirmed anecdotal evidence and a previous study that suggested a problem with psychiatry, said Dr. Chaim Bell of Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, who co-authored the paper.

Psychiatrists are twice as likely as other Canadian doctors to face professional discipline generally and almost four times as apt to be sanctioned for sexual misconduct, concludes a new study that underscores long-held concerns about the speciality.

Experts blame the problem in part on psychiatrists’ unusually close and long relationships with their patients, compared to surgeons and some other specialists who often have relatively brief contact with the people they treat.

Past research has suggested many of the wayward therapists may also be “lovesick,” middle-aged men in isolated practices who fall for younger women, the study notes.

Regardless, the new analysis of a decade of discipline cases across Canada more than confirmed anecdotal evidence and a previous study that suggested a problem with psychiatry, said Dr. Chaim Bell of Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, who co-authored the paper.

“This is surprising in how consistent it is across the various provinces, how consistent it is in different years, and how consistent it is with penalties and fines,” he said. “It’s also consistent with the sort of sensational, one-type anecdotal coverage you might get…. The [discipline case] that gets the front page is often the psychiatrist.”

Just this month, in fact, at least two psychiatrists have been in the news for sexual-abuse allegations. A London doctor under investigation by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons for allegedly masturbating and inappropriately videotaping female patients was charged by police with sexual assault and voyeurism. In Calgary, meanwhile, a psychiatrist is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting 10 male patients.

Dr. Bell, an internal-medicine specialist, stressed that it is still a small percentage of psychiatrists — about two per thousand — who get in trouble with their regulatory colleges. Given the “catastrophic” effect even rare cases of misconduct can have on patients and the public trust, however, psychiatry must do more to curb wrongdoing, the study’s authors say.

At the same time, the average psychiatrist who faced discipline over the 10-year study period had been practising for more than 30 years, perhaps reflecting a shrinking generation of practitioner, said Dr. Molyn Leszcz, Mt. Sinai’s chief of psychiatry.

Younger psychiatrists have been exposed to training on appropriate boundaries with patients, are more conscientious about their own emotional health and actually do their jobs differently, said Dr. Leszcz, who was not involved in the study. They are more likely to practise with groups of other doctors and spend less time in one-on-one psychotherapy sessions, he said.

“If you sit in your office and experience the kinds of strong feelings that get generated in psychotherapy all the time, in isolation, then it becomes harder to maintain professional perspective,” said Dr. Leszcz.

Still, the results from Dr. Bell’s study are “disappointing” in light of the measures taken to combat sexual abuse, said Dr. Donald Addington, chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

“This kind of report makes us think about ‘What more could be done?’ and at this point, we don’t have a particular new plan or direction,” said the University of Calgary professor.

Dr. Bell said the regulatory colleges in each province do little tracking themselves of trends in discipline, so he and his colleagues developed a database of physicians punished for wrongdoing from 2000 to 2009, a total of just over 600 cases.

Psychiatrists made up 14% of that number, twice their percentage in the medical profession, concluded the study, just published in the journal Plos One. They were 3.62 times more likely than other physicians to be found guilty of sexual abuse of patients, had 2.32 times more chance of being convicted of fraud-related discipline offences, and were three times as apt to be found guilty of unprofessional conduct, the paper said.

Little research has been done on psychiatrists who “violate boundaries” with patients, but one 1989 study suggested a small number are actually psychotic, a somewhat larger group show antisocial or exploitative behaviour, and the largest category are the “lovesick” — typically neurotic, socially isolated middle-aged men who fall for much younger patients.

A 1997 Canadian study that followed a group of new psychiatrists over time concluded that the two who were eventually convicted of sexual abusing patients had identifiable personality problems even while still in training.

That raises the “ethically challenging” prospect of screening medical students for sexually exploitative tendencies before they are assigned to specialty training, the new study noted.

It is simply unclear, meanwhile, why a disproportionate number of psychiatrists are found guilty of fraud-related discipline charges, he said.

Source: Tom Blackwell, “Psychiatrists four times as likely as other Canadian doctors to be disciplined for sexual misconduct: study,” National Post, December 6, 2012.

November 9, 2012

Psychiatrist Bolarinwa Olutosin Oluwole loses license for sex with patients

Filed under: psychiatrist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 10:55 am

A psychiatrist who worked at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital has lost his licence for sexual misconduct with his patients.

Dr. Bolarinwa Olutosin Oluwole had sexual intercourse with two female patients and acted inappropriately with another female patient, the College of Physicians and Surgeons said in a news release Thursday.

Two women lodged complaints against him in March 2010 and a third woman filed a complaint the following September. Oluwole lost his professional sponsorship in June 2010, which ended his ability to practise in Nova Scotia at that time, the college said.

Oluwole, a native of Nigeria, is now living in Ontario but he is not practising, said college registrar Dr. Gus Grant in an interview.

“If you were to seek a licence in any jurisdiction in Canada, that jurisdiction would have to get a certificate of professional conduct from our college,” Grant said. “In doing so, they would be made fully aware of this decision.”

In the course of the investigation, the college received evidence that included condoms, lubricant and a CD of sexually explicit photographs of a woman found in Oluwole’s desk. None of the complainants were in the photographs, the college’s hearing committee said in its report released Thursday.

Oluwole signed a settlement agreement in August 2012 admitting his sexual misconduct.

He was hired as a staff psychiatrist at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital in 2008. He received his medical degree in Nigeria and completed his psychiatric residence in Ireland in 2006.

Oluwoleworked at the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., before coming to Nova Scotia, Grant said.

Source: John McPhee, “Psychiatrist loses licence for having sex with patients,” Herald News, November 8, 2012.

November 7, 2012

Ontario psychiatrist Stanley Dobrowolski arrested for sexual assault and voyeurism

Filed under: psychiatrist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:30 am

A London psychiatrist with a long history of sexual impropriety is behind bars after London police charged him Tuesday with sexual assault and voyeurism.

Dr. Stanley Dobrowolski, 65, who was suspended Oct. 12 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, is being investigated by the force’s sexual- assault and child-abuse sections.

Female patients were videotaped during physical examinations without their knowledge, police said.

Dobrowolski is accused of abusing his position of trust by inappropriately touching a patient or conducting an unnecessary physical examination, police said.

The charges stem from incidents between 2005 and 2011.

Police said they’ll oppose Dobrowolski’s release if he applies for bail. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Dobrowolski’s history is marked with reprimands for professional misconduct involving female patients.

In May 1995, his licence was suspended for three months after he engaged in a sexual relationship with a former patient — a student — who came to him after attempting suicide.

He was reprimanded for showing a student how to give herself a breast exam after she had come in to talk about her depression.

Allegations by three other women were dismissed at that time.

In 2001, Dobrowolski was again reprimanded for professional misconduct and required supervision for five months.

Three years later in 2004, he pleaded guilty to kissing and hugging a female patient, a student he treated at Western University’s student-health centre, during a night spent at a hotel in 1992. By that time, at least 12 women had launched official complaints against him.

In all, he’s been found guilty by regulators four times. The string of violations has so far netted him two three-month suspensions and two reprimands.

Investigators believe former patients may have information that will assist them. They can call police at 519-660-5842.

The public can also contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario toll-free at 1-800-268-7096, ext. 603.

Source: Scott Taylor, “Psychiatrist has a history of sexual misconduct with patients,” London Free Press, November 6, 2012.

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