Man sues psychotherapist for drug relapse following sexual exploitation

CHICAGO (CN) – A drug abuser claims in court that he suffered a relapse after his female counselor invited him to her house and had sex with him on the day he was discharged.

Michael Fleming and his wife sued Stacy Lott and Gateway Foundation in Cook County Court.

Fleming claims he was treated for three weeks this year at the Gateway Foundation for drug and cocaine dependence.

His counselor, Lott, “was a ‘psychotherapist’ pursuant to the Sexual Exploitation in Psychotherapy Act,” a state law, according to the complaint. He claims that “the defendant, Stacy Lott, was providing ‘psychotherapy’ to the plaintiff”.

Fleming says he “asked the defendant, Stacy Lott, if he could get another psychotherapist/counselor due to the fact that she was attractive, and it was a distraction for him.”

“During the aforesaid conversation, the defendant Stacy Lott, stated that she found him attractive as well, but that she wished to remain his counselor, because she thought she could help the plaintiff, Michael Fleming.”

Lott remained Fleming’s counselor and told him that his wife, Lisa Aprati, was “‘too controlling’ and bad for his recovery,” Fleming says in the complaint.

He claims that Lott also “would escort the plaintiff, Michael Fleming, outside for a cigarette break and while returning would ask him for a hug and a kiss, which then occurred.”

“Stacy Lott asked the plaintiff, Michael Fleming, to stay at her apartment the night of February 8, 2012, which was his discharge date from the Gateway Foundation’s inpatient treatment program,” the complaint states.

“Plaintiff, Michael Fleming, did stay at defendant Stacy Lott’s apartment on the night of February 8, 2012, and they had sexual relations.”

Since then, Fleming says, he “has been required to undergo counseling, and he has suffered a relapse in his attempts to deal with his cocaine and alcohol dependency, and he has expended sums of money for counseling, has lost time from his employment, and he has lost other gains he otherwise would have realized.”

He claims the Gateway Foundation knew Lott had inappropriate relationships with patients and did nothing to protect its patients.

He seeks damages for sexual exploitation, negligent supervision, and psychotherapist malpractice.

He is represented by Edmund Scanlan.

(Psychotherapists are M.D.s and/or Ph.Ds. Lott is not referred to as a doctor in the complaint.)

Source: Jack Bouboushian, “Sex Shouldn’t Be in the Program, Patient Says,” Courthouse News Service, December 11, 2012.

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