Psychologist suspended for sex with patient now working as high school teacher

Dover, Del. — Dover psychologist Dr. Janet Asay has been teaching science at Campus Community High Schoolsince the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, when an investigation into alleged, professional misconduct was well under way, the Dover Post has learned.

That investigation by the Delaware Department of State Division of Professional Regulation culminated in Asay entering into a consent agreement with the Delaware Board of Examiners of Psychologists in December in which she admitted to having sex with an adult patient who was still within the two-year window that forbids intimacy between a patient and counselor.

The state Board of Examiners of Psychologists approved the consent agreement at its Jan. 9 meeting, according to minutes from that meeting.

“Respondent [Asay] self-reported to the Board that she engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship with a former therapy adult client within two years of the termination of his therapy in violation of 24 Del. C. subsection 3514 (a)(5),” according to the consent agreement.

The Dover Post reviewed the consent agreement signed by Asay on Nov. 21, 2011 and Deputy Attorney General Barbara J. Gadbois on Dec. 2, 2011. Delaware Department of State spokesman Christopher Portante confirmed that Asay agreed to the state suspension that prohibits her from practicing psychology for two years.

In addition, Asay has been in therapy with Newark-based Dr. Priscilla Putnam, according to the consent agreement.

Asay’s state license was issued in 1994. She has been affiliated with Perspectives Counseling in Dover.

Asay did not return calls seeking coment, but did email the Dover Post saying her attorney was out of town through Wednesday.

The Department of State and the Office of the Attorney General declined to comment further on Asay’s suspension.

The Delaware Department of Education determines whether to approve or deny teaching licenses according to the requirements and the provisions of State statute and regulations, Delaware Department of Justice spokesman Jason Miller said.

“As legal counsel to the Department of Education and the Professional Standards Board, the Department of Justice cannot comment on this pending matter,” he said.

Campus Community School’s charter was granted by the Delaware Department of Education, which has authorized most charter schools in the state. Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian Lowery was out of town and unavailable for comment, DOE spokeswoman Alison Kepner said Monday.

Asay has a pending, initial license and pending emergency teaching certificate for biology, Kepner said, citing state records.

When asked if Asay’s suspension would affect her temporary certification, Kepner referred the Dover Post to Delaware Code. The code states, in part, that the secretary of education may suspend, revoke or limit a license if a person has “a license or certificate suspended, revoked, or voluntarily surrendered in another jurisdiction for cause which would be grounds for suspension or revocation…”

Kepner referred further questions to Campus Community School.

Campus Community School Board President Marc Coté said school officials were aware of the situation with Dr. Asay and had looked into the matter.

“We believe that the incident has been dealt with by the Board of Examiners of Psychologists fairly,” Coté said. “We do not think that our students are at risk in any way as a result of the incident that occurred with her former patient.”

Source: Antonio Prado, “Special Report: Suspended psychologist teaching at Campus Community High School,” Dover Post, March 14, 2012.

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