Monthly Archives: December 2013

Psychologist Karen A. Pauly surrenders license; engaged in sexual relationship with patient

On November 8, 2013, psychologist Karen A. Pauly surrendered her license to the Washington State Department of Health (DoH).

The DoH’s document states that Pauly engaged in an approximately 15-month sexual relationship with a patient.

The patient gave Pauly money and access to the patient’s debit card to withdraw additional funds.

The patient also gave Pauly money for personal items, spending cash, and to help her avoid foreclosure (her house was not in foreclosure)—approximately $15,000 altogether.

Pauly purchased prepaid cell phones for the patient so that she and he could communicate without his wife finding out.

Lastly, Pauly supplied the patient with alcohol and consumed alcohol with him though she knew or should have known it was not in the patient’s best interest.

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Idaho counselor Mark Wiseman loses license after conviction

On October 29, 2013, the Idaho Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists revoked the right of professional counselor Mark W. Wiseman to renew his license and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine.

According to the Board’s documents, Wiseman had sexual relations with a counseling client in August 2012, September 2012 and February 2013.

The client had filed a criminal charge against Wiseman for rape, relative to the February 2013 incident of sexual relations.

Wiseman did not deny sexual relations with the client but insisted it was consensual.

He nonetheless pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of battery.

Psych hospital worker must register as sex offender after patient sex conviction

A former assistant in St. Elizabeth Medical Center’s psychiatric unit will have to register as a Level 1 sex offender after having sexual contact with a patient.

Although the patient was 23 years old and not underage, Robert Mykel’s conviction for third-degree criminal sexual act still requires him to register as a sex offender. Level 1 is the lowest of the three risk levels.

Mykel, 39, of Whitesboro was sentenced Monday in Oneida County Court to 10 years of probation, with the first six months to be spent in the Oneida County jail.

Mykel was a psychiatric assistant at the Utica hospital when he became friendly with a patient and had sex with her in February, attorneys said. The woman later reported the incident, however, reportedly feeling that Mykel had taken advantage of her.

This is the first year that such conduct was considered a crime under state law, which now states that anyone under the care of the state Office of Mental Health cannot give legal consent to have sex with any employee at its facilities.

“I’d just like to apologize for my actions to the court, especially the victim,” Mykel said to Judge Michael Dwyer.

Because Mykel’s crime did not involve any children, Dwyer dropped the terms of Mykel’s probation that would have required him to stay away from shopping malls, parks, playgrounds and other public locations commonly associated with children.

Source: Rocco LaDuca, “Ex-psych assistant sentenced for sex with St. E’s patient,” Utica Observer-Dispatch, November 18, 2013.

School psychologist Megan Snipes charged with sexual battery involving student

HILTON HEAD — A Battery Creek High School psychologist was arrested Friday, accused of engaging in a sexual act with a student, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Megan Michelle Snipes, 28, was charged with sexual battery of a student, the release said. The Beaufort County School District has placed Snipes on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, district spokesman Jim Foster said.

Snipes’ arrest was the second in less than two weeks involving a district employee accused of inappropriate behavior with a student. A long-term substitute at Hilton Head Island High School facing similar charges is no longer working for the school district after her arrest earlier this month.

Snipes’ arrest came after the mother of the 16-year-old male student contacted the Sheriff’s Office early Thursday to report that she had discovered sexually oriented communication between her son and Snips on her phone. The woman’s son had been seeing the school psychologist regularly.

Deputies questioned Snipes and the student and confirmed that they engaged in a sexual act Oct. 18 near Bob Jones Field on Jones Avenue in Beaufort, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Snipes did not coerce the student, according to the release.

While the legal age of consent in South Carolina is 16, a state law says that sexual acts between a student and teacher — regardless of age — cannot be consensual.

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bob Bromage would not say what the sexual act entailed, but said it met the criteria for the charge. According to the statute, “sexual battery” can include various sex acts.

Attempts to reach Sheriff P.J. Tanner were unsuccessful.

Snipes was in the Beaufort County Detention Center on Friday afternoon awaiting a bond hearing.

She was hired by the district in August 2011 and has worked as a psychologist at four schools: Port Royal Elementary School, Okatie Elementary School, Beaufort Middle School and Battery Creek High School, according to Foster.

She is on administrative leave and continues to be paid her $46,012 salary pending an investigation by the district, Foster said.

She is a certified employee, meaning she has state certification. The superintendent cannot immediately terminate a certified employee, but must instead take a recommendation for termination to the school board “if the situation warrants that kind of action,” Foster said.

Superintendent Jeffrey Moss said Friday he would discuss the situation with the school board at its next meeting. He declined to comment further.

The next board meeting is Jan. 7.

Snipes’ arrest came less than two weeks after Margaret LaMantia, 23, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and disseminating harmful material to a minor, according to court records.

LaMantia told deputies she sent a 16-year-old male student an inappropriate picture, kissed him and asked him to buy marijuana for her, according to an incident report.

LaMantia, who is no longer employed by the school district, posted a $25,000 bond Wednesday, according to the jail log.

Source: Rececca Lurye and Sarah Bowman, “SC school psychologist charged with sexual battery of student,” The State, December 20, 2013.

State revokes social worker Ken Curtis’ license after being ID’ed by former prostitute

On August 13, 2013, the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners revoked the license of social worker Ken Curtis.

The Board’s document states that Curtis was employed by the state Department of Correction (DoC) as a counselor at a male facility.

In June 2013, the Board received a complaint alleging that a female offender under the custody of DoC, as part of her programming prior to release, disclosed that prior to her incarceration, she’d earned her living as a prostitute.

In working to turn her life around, she wrote letters to her former clients expressly to end the relationships and disclosed to staff that Curtis was one of her former clients. She also disclosed that she had concerns for her family’s safety as she alleged that Curtis had threatened her elderly grandmother.

Curtis surrendered his license but consented to allowing the Board to revoke it as part of its discipline.

State suspends social worker Janice Robinson for sexual harassment, misrepresentation, etc.

On March 8, 2013, the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners suspended the license of clinical social worker Janice L. Robinson for 60 days. The Board’s Findings of Fact states that Robinson used inappropriate language and foul language when dealing with clients and failed to maintain confidential information regarding clients; engaged in sexual harassment of clients and failed to maintain professional boundaries; and engaged in misrepresentation by billing an employer for mileage reimbursement when she was not traveling.

State suspends social worker Rebecca Durocher for sex with former patient

On October 7, 2013, the Washington State Department of Health (DoH) suspended the license of independent clinical social worker Rebecca J. Durocher for no less than two years. The DoH’s document states that Durocher entered into a personal and sexual relationship with a former patient which whom she rented an apartment and lived with for approximately two years.