Georgia psychotherapist Cliff Tillery sex assault retrial begins today

LAWRENCEVILLE — After a jury stalemate led to a mistrial in March, the sexual assault trial of Lilburn psychotherapist Cliff Tillery will begin round two on Monday.

Tillery, the owner of Bright Horizons Inc., is accused of coercing the alleged female victim — a Gwinnett preschool teacher with a history of alcohol and sexual abuse, she testified in March — into sexual activity more than 20 times at his Norcross office in 2007.

The 46-year-old, a 20-year veteran of psychotherapy, was arrested in July 2008 before being released on $55,200 bond.

A hung jury led Superior Court Judge Melodie Snell Conner to declare a mistrial after 11⁄2 days of deliberation on March 14.

The case hinges on the determination of the boundary between therapists and patients.

The prosecution believes that Tillery preyed on the 32-year-old alleged victim’s psychological wounds to benefit sexually during sessions for which she typically paid $85 an hour.

The defense contends that she flirted with and seduced Tillery.

In the days leading up to the trial, the alleged victim told the Daily Post that she felt brainwashed by Tillery and wouldn’t have considered him as a sexual partner in another situation.

Both Tillery and the former patient were married with children at the time of the alleged abuse.

According to Georgia statute, a conviction of sexual assault by a psychotherapist could result in a prison sentence of between 10 and 30 years. Consent cannot be used as a defense, the law says.

Source: Tyler Estep, “Sexual assault trial of local therapist to resume Monday,” Gwinnett Daily Post, June 19, 2010.


4 responses to “Georgia psychotherapist Cliff Tillery sex assault retrial begins today

  1. william wallace

    The case should not have come to trial
    both parties are not children, its not an
    case of whom in blaming, but in lessons
    learnt by all parties, such is that of life.

    A conviction against cliff tillery would
    return humanity unto such past times
    as burnings at the stake, where one be
    put into a closed barrel of water being
    left the morning if found
    dead, the verdict…. declared innocent.
    If found alive, then burnt at the stake.

    Western nations having gone through
    the period of centuries of christianity
    centuries of brainwashing that all but
    born of SIN the flesh evil , womans
    lust for sexual pleasure be the cause
    that man being evicted from heaven.

    • You obviously are unaware that it is a felony in the state of George for a psychotherapist to engage in sexual behavior or activity with a client or patient. This law exists (in Georgia and more than a dozen other U.S. states, as well as in Germany, Israel and Western Australia) because it has been widely recognized that such sexual exploitation is harmful to the patient. It is also widely recognized that the there are inequalities in the therapist-patient relationship which puts the patient in a vulnerable position. So vulnerable are they recognized to be that the law does not recognizes their “consent” to sex as being actual consent.

      In such laws, “consent” by the patient is not an acceptable defense from the therapist. Consent is not an acceptable defense.

  2. William Wallace must be living in the 1800’s and was probably a psychiatrist. It is obvious that when a psych gets his grimy mind around someone who is vulnerable from a broken relationship, perhaps feeling unloved can easily use drugs/hypnosis to coerce a vulnerable woman into a sexual relationship and then use his perversion to take complete advantage of the situation. At least 10% of all psychs say they see sex as a real therapy. NUTS!!! The number is more like 50%. Most are sexual deviants. It is against the law in Georgia. It is also a sick crime that is almost exclusively part of the psychological field. I have never heard of a dentist being arrested for having sex with his or her patient. Even gynecologists are not part of this problem. Wake up before going to a psychiatrist, psycholofist or a mental health professional. Go to your pastor or your best friend to work out relationship problems.

  3. Cliff Tillery is a scumbag and I hope they rape his ass in prison. He is also a scam and I don’t understand how he got a license to begin with. He gave “therapy” to someone very close to me and after three visits she refused to go back to him because of the slimy vibes he gave her. Now I completely understand why. I will gladly kick his sick, twisted ass if he ever has the misfortune of crossing my path again.

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