Category Archives: child pornography

Psychiatrist Curtis Steele loses license over teen nude photo allegations

A former psychiatrist who practised in Halifax and taught at Dalhousie University will never practise over allegations that he took nude photos of a teenage patient.

Curtis Steele agreed to give up his licence after an investigation by the province’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Steele practised in the province from his move to Nova Scotia in 1988 until 2013. In 2013, one of his former patients filed a complaint against him with the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The patient was 14 years old when she started seeing Steele in 2003. The decision from the college says one of the girl’s parents worked with Steele and considered him a friend.

A committee that investigated the complaint found a number of concerns about Steele’s behaviour, including Steele allegedly taking nude photographs of his 14-year-old patient, as well as prescribing the drug Paxil without a supporting diagnosis.

“Dr. Steele lacked the necessary insight expected of a psychiatrist in failing to immediately recognize the impropriety of taking the photographs,” the college ruling says.

“The allegations are serious and profoundly disturbing.” – Dr. Gus Grant, College of Physicians and Surgeons

Steele has agreed to the terms of the college’s settlement to stop practising medicine and never apply for a licence again.

He will also have to pay $5,000 to help cover the college’s costs of the investigation. Steele admitted to professional misconduct, but not necessarily the facts outlined in the agreement.

The college released its decision Wednesday morning.

“I can’t imagine complaints of a more serious nature,” said Dr. Gus Grant, the registrar and CEO of the college. “The allegations are serious and profoundly disturbing.”

Grant says the incident could lead to charges.

“The nature of the allegations that the college considered are serious and potentially will involve the criminal court system,” he said.
Two more complaints outstanding

Meanwhile, Steele still faces two complaints from former patients, including another case filed by the patient who was 14 years old when he treated her in 2003.

A second case, filed last year, alleges Steele made inappropriate sexual advances toward a male patient using a dildo.

Steele practised at the Community Mental Health Clinic at the Capital District Health Authority, as well as at a small private practice.

Steele was also a faculty member at Dalhousie University’s Department of Psychiatry, but retired in 2013. He hadn’t taught medical students in over a decade, says Dalhousie spokeswoman Allison Gerrard.

Source: “Curtis Steele loses psychiatry licence over nude photo allegations,” CBC News, July 16, 2014.

California psychologist John Visher arrested on child sex abuse and child porn charges

CAPITOLA, California — A 65-year-old psychologist was arrested Wednesday at his La Selva Beach home on suspicion of child sex abuse and child porn possession.

Capitola police received a report in January that Dr. John Visher possibly had committed lewd acts with a minor who was his client at the time. According to the criminal complaint, the incidents are alleged to have taken place sometime between September 2009 and December 2009, prosecutor Michael Gilman said.

The girl was 8 years old at the time.

During the course of the police investigation, a search warrant was executed at Visher’s home and his office on Bay Avenue in Capitola.

Due to potential patient-therapist privilege issues, the court appointed a special investigator to review all items seized during the investigation. Members of the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office assisted.

Visher was arrested by Capitola police detectives Wednesday. He’s charged with committing lewd acts with a child younger than 14, displaying harmful matter to a child and four counts of possession of child pornography.

Visher was taken into custody and booked into County Jail without incident. He was out on bail as of Wednesday night and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Authorities have notified the state licensing board that oversees licensing of psychologists of the investigation and the arrest.

Visher was first licensed to practice psychology in California in August 1982, according to the California Board of Psychology. He does not have any prior administrative citations or disciplinary actions on record with the agency.

The investigation is ongoing, according to Capitola detective Sarah Ryan.

Source: Jessica M. Pasko, “Capitola psychologist arrested on suspicion of child molestation,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 20, 2012.

State charges psychiatrist Richard J. Pines with sex abuse of children

The Idaho State Board of Medicine has filed a complaint against a Boise child and adolescent psychiatrist alleging he had improper sexual contact with four former patients or foster children and had a three-year affair with an adult patient to whom he was prescribing painkillers.

The complaint against Dr. Richard J. Pines was filed on June 28 and alleges abuses dating back to June 2001. He has denied the allegations in his response to the board. Pines’ attorney, David Cantrill, declined comment.

The board is seeking a hearing on whether Pines’ license should be suspended or revoked or if he should face other punishment. No criminal charges have been filed.

The board’s complaint alleges that in two cases Pines told young men he needed to practice giving massages to naked bodies to maintain his medical license and improperly touched them, including one who was 14.

Pines acknowledged taking naked pictures of another patient who was about 14 while they were at Pines’ cabin in Garden Valley and acknowledged taking money to that patient before Pines was interviewed by Boise police in March 2011, the board’s complaint alleges.

In January 2011, the board alleges Pines told a former foster child that he needed a “test patient” on whom to practice hernia exams and that he acknowledged giving that person $2,000 after the incident.

The board also alleges Pines prescribed controlled substances to an adult patient with whom he had a three-year affair without records showing that the patient needed the medication. The board said the last prescription, for acetaminophen and codeine, was filled in June 2010.

Pines has been licensed to practice medicine in Idaho since June 1997 and has worked at several places including Boise Public Schools and Saint Alphonsus Health System.

Source: “Medical board files complaint against Boise doctor,” Associated Press, August 27, 2012.

Report suggests child psychiatrist faked dementia to avoid molestation retrial

A California child psychiatrist charged with sexually molesting five of his patients faked Alzheimer’s disease to avoid a retrial, a prosecutor says.

William Ayres, 80, of San Mateo, former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, appeared at a court hearing Friday in shackles and a prison jumpsuit, the San Jose Mercury News reported. He was in a wheelchair.

Ayres was committed to Napa State Hospital last year. In 2009, a jury deadlocked on sexual abuse charges filed against him.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan said a report by John McIlnay, a psychologist working for the state of California, suggests Ayres faked the symptoms of dementia and was able to use his knowledge of the field to get past tests meant to discover malingering. Judge John Grandsaert has sealed the report.

“I am skeptical of anything the doctor has done up to this point,” McKowan said after the hearing. “Based on the report, we have reason to believe this whole thing was a hoax and we have been duped.”

Grandsaert scheduled a full hearing Oct. 1 in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Source: “Report: Psychiatrist faked dementia,” UPI, August 4, 2012

Prosecutor brings additional charges against therapist already facing kiddie porn charge

In December 2010, Contra Costa (California) County prosecutors amended the charges against marriage and family therapist Thomas P. Jewell.

Jewell had initially been arrested on child pornography charges last November, after police found a large amount of such material in his home.

Jewell had been employed for several years by the mental health division at Contra Costa County Health Services, assigned to Juvenile Hall.

Investigators found 13,000 images of child pornography on computers seized from Jewell’s home in November.

The complaint against Jewell was amended when one of the victims was identified in the images.

Jewell was additionally charged with 46 counts of child molestation, one count of posing a child for the purpose of pornography, one county of showing pornographic material to a child and one count of possession of child pornography.

His bail was increased from $1 million to $5.8 million in light of the molestation charges.

Source: Robert Salonga, “Contra Costa Juvenile Hall counselor arrested in child pornography case,” Contra Costa Times, 18 November 2010 and ”Youth counselor charged with porn, molestation,” Associated Press, December 6, 2010.

Mental health counselor William L. Riedel sentenced to 35 years prison for drugging and molesting 11-year-old girl

On February 11, a judge sentenced a Mesa (Arizona) man to 20 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor and 15 years in prison for child molestation, attempted child molestation, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful administration of drugs.

In addition to that prison time – the sentences will run back to back – William Lewis Riedel also got lifetime probation on two other charges.

Riedel, a former family counselor, was arrested in January 2008.

According to investigators, Riedel, who was 43 at the time, convinced his then girlfriend to give her 11-year-daughter sleeping pills – they told the child they were allergy pills – and then the couple took pictures as they molested her. This happened in 2006 and went on for three months.

It all came to light nearly two years later when the daughter of Riedel’s new fiance found the pictures on Riedel’s computer. She told her mother and the mother contacted the police.

Investigators confiscated the computer and found a variety of disturbing images or Riedel with the victim. They said the victim appeared to be drugged or unconscious in all of the pictures. Police said they also found other images depicting child pornography.

Riedel allegedly told investigators he “groomed” the victim’s mother, teaching her and encouraging her to take part in the molestation.

Riedel eventually pleaded guilty to the counts for which Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie sentenced him.

Source: Catherine Holland, “Mesa man gets 35 years in child molestation case,” http://www.azfamily.com, February 11, 2011.