Monthly Archives: February 2012

Psychiatrist Ong Ming Tan facing 7 indecency charges involving teenage patients

A Sydney psychiatrist has been accused of molesting a second patient at a private north shore clinic, with police today laying a further 10 charges of indecent and sexual assault.

Dr Ong Ming Tan today faced Hornsby Local Court where police presented further charges following their investigation into the doctor’s behaviour at the high-profile Northside Clinic.

Police originally laid charges in relation to a 19-year-old patient, but Dr Tan has since been charged with a number of fresh charges in relation to his conduct with a second complainant, aged 29.

In total, he how faces seven counts of aggravated indecency with a victim 16 or over and under his authority, and seven counts of aggravated indecency, victim under the authority of the offender.

As originally reported in The Sun-Herald, Dr Tan, 38, had been under investigation by both police and the state’s public health regulator over his conduct with patients at the Greenwich clinic.

He has taken leave from his private rooms while the investigations continue, and declined to speak to The Sun-Herald about the claims when they were first raised.

The chief executive of the Northside Group, Anne Mortimer, told the Herald it had taken action within one hour of being informed of the allegations.

She said the allegations had been raised before Christmas while the psychiatrist was on leave.

“We took immediate action,” Ms Mortimer said. “We had a meeting within an hour and [the doctor] did not return to the clinic. He chose to take annual leave.”

She said the matter was immediately reported to the commission as well as the clinic’s medical advisory board. An internal investigation had also been launched.

Ms Mortimer said she was not surprised a complaint had been made to police because she could understand anyone who felt they had been a victim would be outraged and likely to take all available avenues.

“We take these matters very seriously and we are co-operating with all agencies,” Ms Mortimer said. “We are keen to get to the bottom of all this. Our primary motivation is always our patients. And these patients are incredibly vulnerable.”

The Northside Clinic has 92 beds. It is a teaching hospital for the University of Sydney and has a number of specialised treatment units that deal with mood disorders, drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, and eating disorders.

Dr Tan was present for the brief mention of the case today, which was adjourned to May.

Source: Lisa Davies, “More psychiatrist sex claims emerge at private Sydney clinic,” Sydney Morning Herald, February 15, 2012.

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Psychiatrist Stanley Hanan charged with sexual battery

A Tulsa area psychiatrist is charged with two counts of sexual battery.

Court records say Dr. Stanley Scott Hanan, who practices in south Tulsa and Sand Springs, is accused of fondling a female patient and licking her breasts when she leaned over to pick up medicine. The alleged incident happened in October in 2011 at Associated Centers for Therapy at 71st and Yale.  Supervisors say Hanan no longer works there.

Hanan is listed as specializing in psychiatry and pharmacology at Counseling and Recovery Services of Oklahoma. According to records the state medical board has disciplined Hanan three times for over-prescribing narcotics in 1997, 1998, and 2003. His license was reinstated in 2005.

Hanan is being held on $20,000 bond. A court date is scheduled for February 27th.

Source: “Tulsa doctor booked for sexual battery,” Fox -23.com (Tulsa), February 17, 2012.

Northern California psychologists gets 8 years prison for “extreme” child pornography

A Marin psychologist convicted of possessing child pornography was sentenced in federal court to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $50,000 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Donald Tosti, 76, who surfaced as a pornography suspect after taking his computer to CompUSA for repair, was convicted on two charges of possessing child pornography after a search of his San Rafael home and office produced a “large collection” of child pornography, including depictions of the rape of very young children, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Haag issued a statement describing Tosti as a psychologist who founded the Independent Learning Schools.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco noted the quantity of pornography seized and the extreme nature of acts and images it contained as key factors in the eight-year sentence ordered Thursday.

Tosti was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 6, 2009. A second count was added when additional child pornography was found after his arrest.

Judge White also sentenced Tosti to a five-year period of supervised release and ordered him to pay $50,000 in restitution to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The sentencing followed a four-year investigation by the FBI and San Rafael Police Department. A San Rafael detective said police became aware of suspicions about Tosti in 2005.

Source: Nels Johnson, “Marin psychologist sentenced to 8 years in child porn case,”  Marin Independent Journal, February 6, 2012.

Sydney psychiatrist charged in sexual assault of 19-year-old patient

A Sydney psychiatrist has today been charged with sexual assault of a patient at a high-profile private clinic on Sydney’s north shore.

As revealed in The Sun-Herald yesterday, the doctor – who can now be revealed as Dr Ong Ming Tan – had been under investigation by both police and the state’s public health regulator for indecent dealings with patients at the Northside Clinic in Greenwich.

Dr Tan, 38, was charged at Chatswood police station this morning with two counts of aggravated indecent assault of a young woman, aged 19.

He also faces two aggravated acts of indecency by a person in authority.

The incidents allegedly took place in August last year.

He was granted strict bail conditions and will appear in Hornsby Local Court on February 15, police said.

He has taken leave from his private rooms while the investigations continue, and declined to speak to The Sun-Herald about the claims last week.

It is understood another Northside patient, aged 29, has made similar allegations.

The Health Care Complaints Commission and the advisory board of the mental healthcare company that owns the clinic, the Northside Group, are also investigating.

The chief executive of the Northside Group, Anne Mortimer, told The Sun-Herald it had taken action within one hour of being informed of the allegations.

She said the allegations had been raised before Christmas while the psychiatrist was on leave.

“We took immediate action,” Ms Mortimer said. “We had a meeting within an hour and [the doctor] did not return to the clinic. He chose to take annual leave.”

She said the matter was immediately reported to the commission as well as the clinic’s medical advisory board. An internal investigation had also been launched.

Ms Mortimer said she was not surprised a complaint had been made to police because she could understand anyone who felt they had been a victim would be outraged and likely to take all available avenues.

“We take these matters very seriously and we are co-operating with all agencies,” Ms Mortimer said. “We are keen to get to the bottom of all this. Our primary motivation is always our patients. And these patients are incredibly vulnerable.”

The Northside Clinic has 92 beds. It is a teaching hospital for the University of Sydney and has a number of specialised treatment units that deal with mood disorders, drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, and eating disorders.

The Sun-Herald has learnt the complaints were made by a psychiatrist treating a 19-year-old woman, who was also under the care of the psychiatrist being investigated.

The psychiatrist who made the complaints had known the patient and her family for several years and is understood to have told police concerns had been raised with the clinic’s management in early December. However, after two weeks of inaction, it is understood that the psychiatrist decided to contact detectives.

Ms Mortimer denied there had been a delay and said the clinic had acted immediately. However, the psychiatrist told officers staff had been told to “talk to no one”.

The younger victim is also believed to have spoken to other clinic patients, who said it was “normal practice”.

To bring the matter to the attention of authorities, The Sun-Herald understands the treating psychiatrist contacted the other psychiatrist’s private rooms and was told he was on leave and being treated for depression.

A police investigation led by Chatswood detectives continues, and anyone with information is urged to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

After he was charged, the Northside Clinic “suspended” Dr Tan from treating at its facility.

Ms Mortimer said the doctor had not treated patients since he took recommended leave before Christmas, after the first allegation surfaced.

“We are very concerned about this development today and will continue to co-operate with police and other investigating authorities,” Ms Mortimer said today.

“Our primary concern is for the welfare of our patients how are incredibly vulnerable. It is very important that we get to the bottom of this and understand what has happened.

Source: Lisa Davies and Amy Corderoy, “Sydney psychiatrist charged with sexual assault,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 23, 2012.

New York social worker John Walden suspended for child porn conviction

On April 5, 2011, the New York State Office of the Professions suspended master social worker John. E. Walden for six months based on his having been convicted of Possession of Child Pornography Transported in Interstate or Foreign Commerce (a felony) and of having been convicted of Unlawful Imprisonment in the 2nd Degree, Aggravated Harassment in the 2nd Degree and Attempted Petit Larceny (all misdemeanors).

Source: Entry of John E. Walden, Master Social Worker, Lic. No. 072862, Summaries of Regents Actions on Professional Misconduct and Discipline, NY State Dept. of Education Office of the Professions, April 2011.

Social worker Jeffrey L. Miller suspended for letter to client

On December 12, 2011, the Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board suspended clinical social worker Jeffrey L. Miller for two months for unprofessional conduct.

Miller, who at the time of this disciplinary action was employed by Herrington Recovery Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital, provided treatment to “Ms. D.S.,” a patient of Herrington.

On November 7, 2010, Miller wrote a romantic letter to D.S., in anticipation of her discharge from Herrington on November 12. He gave her the letter on November 12, 2010. Miller was additionally fined $250.

Source: Final Decision and Order in the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against Jeffrey L. Miller, Order #0001275, Case #10 SOC 078, Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board.

UK psych nurse loses license for forcing sex on pregnant patient

Jonathan Henk, a psychiatric nurse who forced himself on a patient he was secretly dating after discovering she was pregnant by another man, has been struck off.

Henk, 47, fell in love with the woman, proposed to her and invited her to move into his home.

Henk also whisked her off on a three-day holiday to Majorca during their five month affair in 2008, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

But the woman believed Henk was seeing another psychiatric patient and the romance fizzled out.

Henk then tried to bully her into keeping quiet about their affair.

The nurse was working at Halesview Mental Health Centre in Halesowen, West Midlands when he started counselling ‘patient A’ for panic attacks in April 2007.

In March the following year, he referred her to another psychiatrist then began seeing her outside work.

Henk wooed her by sending a flurry of personal text messages and telling her he had ‘butterflies’ when he saw her for the first time.

Cassandra Scarborough, for the NMC, told how Patient A felt pressured to have sex with Henk’ during their five-month fling.

“Mr Henk engaged in their first intimate contact at his house when he took Patient A to the Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley, and then said on their way he would need to get changed.

“He took her to his house, poured her a glass of wine, told her she was beautiful, and kissed her.

“They had sex for the first time in April 2008, when Mr Henk took her out for a drink in Bromsgrove and she became very drunk.

“At that stage, he made it clear to her that no-one should find out about their relationship.

“It is the council’s case that Mr Henk initiated the relationship and that he clearly took advantage of his position with a vulnerable client.”

The romance soured in July 2008, when Patient A moved in with Henk, and he became suspicious of her friendship with another man.

‘On August 27, 2008, Mr Henk came to her house, she told him she was pregnant, and, upon hearing that news, he said he would stay for lunch,’ said Ms Scarborough.

Patient A told Henk she was pregnant and that he should leave her alone, then he had sex with her without her consent.

‘Suffice to say her health deteriorated as a result of that incident,’ she said.

After the pair split up, Henk tried to bully her into silence after her ex-boyfriend reported him to bosses at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

He even forced her to write a letter saying she would withdraw her complaint, before driving her to the post box himself, the hearing was told.

An internal enquiry was launched but later abandoned after Henk resigned.

The NMC panel found 20 charges were found proved and ruled his actions were sexually motivated and amounted to ‘very serious misconduct’.

He was cleared of telling the woman to have an abortion – an allegation he repeatedly denied – and kissing her at his home before she had been referred to another member of staff.

A charge that the nurse had a relationship with a second woman, identified as Patient B, was also dropped.

Henk admitted he had sex with Patient A, but insisted it was consensual.

He said: ‘After we did the pregnancy test, we did have sex on the floor of Patient A’s house.

“But if she said no, we wouldn’t have had sex.”

Ruling that he was guilty of misconduct and his fitness to practice was impaired, NMC panel chairman Paul Archer said: ‘The facts found proved amount to serious breaches of the standards expected of a registered nurse.

“Mr Henk’s actions had the potential to cause damage to individuals and the nursing profession.

“He has admitted his fitness to practice is impaired from the outset and the panel finds it remains impaired.’

Striking him off the register, Mr Archer added: ‘Mr Henk abused his position of trust and power to further a relationship with a vulnerable woman who encountered him in his position as a nurse and trusted him.

“On one occasion, they had sexual intercourse without that patient’s consent.

“This is an extremely serious finding.

“Mr Henk has shown very little insight and denied the most serious allegation.

“His actions are fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register.

“The misconduct completely undermines the trust others should have in a nurse and is irremediable.

“Public confidence in the profession would be seriously damaged if Mr Henk was not struck off.”

Henk, wearing a black suit, white shirt and striped tie, showed no emotion as the decision was announced.

He has 28 days to appeal against the decision, during which he is subject to an 18-month interim suspension order.

Source: Psychiatric nurse struck off after forcing himself on pregnant patient,” The Telegraph, January 25, 2012.