A recent story sends a cautionary message about the dangers of sex crime allegations, regardless of their underlying merit.
According to reports, a psychologist recently decided to accept an alternative punishment, rather than contest allegations that she had sex with a patient. As part of the deal, the 49-year-old health official surrendered her license. It’s unclear what employment prospects may still be available to her, now that her 10-year practice has come to an end.
Specifically, a former patient made a claim to state health officials that the psychologist had engaged in sexual relations with him. The patient had seen the psychologist from 2007 to the spring of 2013, but alleged that the sexual relationship had not begun until February 2012. The patient also claimed that the psychologist had accepted $15,000 and prepaid cell phones from him, which he supplied to facilitate and cover the costs of their clandestine meetings.
A sex crimes attorney is often called upon to help those accused of sexual offenses minimize the collateral consequences during the investigation and subsequent criminal trial phases. In this case, it may be suspicious that the patient didn’t come forward with his allegations until after the psychologist had decided to move her practice out of the state. Although the mental health professional estimates that she had treated between 200 and 300 patients over the course of her career, she decided it was best to accept the deal in this case. It’s unclear whether she consulted with an attorney before making that decision. An attorney might have had additional insights to offer during the negotiation process.
Source: tdn.com, “Psychologist accused of improper relationship with client surrenders license,” Andre Stepankowsky, Nov. 21, 2013