Psychiatrist Monissa Solberg Loses License for ‘Intimate Relationship’ with Patient

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc sitePROVIDENCE, R.I. — Psychiatrist Monissa Solberg has agreed to voluntarily surrender her license to practice medicine in Rhode Island following a state Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline investigation that concluded that she “had an intimate relationship with an existing patient,” according to the Department of Health.
Under the terms of a consent order signed earlier this month by Solberg and Health Department director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, the psychiatrist has agreed to surrender her license no later than Nov. 6.
Solberg did not respond to attempts to reach her at Wellness Rhode Island, a psychiatry and counseling practice with offices at 334 Broadway, where she is listed as a practitioner.
The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline began an investigation of Solberg after receiving a complaint from an unnamed person “who had knowledge of [her] having an intimate relationship with” a patient whom she had been treating after his release from a program for depression at Butler Hospital, according to the five-page consent order.
According to the order, Solberg denied that she had had an inappropriate relationship with the patient while she was treating him, and that she ceased treating him in May 2016.
She testified that the two went on a vacation to Iceland in November of that year and that he sprained his ankle while there. He received a prescription for an opioid medication while in Iceland, and ran out of the medication after returning to Rhode Island.
According to the order, Solberg told the board’s investigative committee that she then prescribed the man a 10-day supply of the medication and conducted a physical examination.
In addition to determining that Solberg had had an intimate relationship with an existing patient, the investigative committee determined that she did not properly document the care she gave the patient prior to providing him a prescription, and did not document educating the patient on the risks of opioids.
Source: “Providence psychiatrist surrenders license over ‘intimate relationship’ with patient,” The Providence Journal, Aug 30, 2018
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Pennsylvania Psychologist Edward J. Michaels Convicted for Child Porn

On June 6, 2018, psychologist Edward J. Michaels pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Michaels, who was arrested by Allegheny County Police on or about May 24, 2017, was at the time the director of the University of Pittsburgh’s counseling center, a position he’d held for two years. He was placed on leave following the arrest. Michaels

Police initially visited Michaels at his home in March 2017, after receiving a tip from a concerned person who had seen photographs of young girls there. The police found there photos of apparently prepubescent girls in sexually explicit poses. They seized two laptop computers, two USB memory sticks, and several hundred loose photographs, according to an affidavit in the case.

Michaels permanently surrendered his Pennsylvania psychologist’s license on August 22, 2017. He was licensed as well in Michigan, whose board of psychology suspended his license on July 27, 2018, and Illinois, which suspended it in December 2017, both relative to the surrender of his Pennsylvania license.

As a result of his conviction, Michaels was required to register as a sex offender in the state of Pennsylvania. The State Police’s Megan’s Law (sex offender) Public Report contains information on two offenses: possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of children.

Source: Court Summary, Michaels, Edward J., Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Case CP-02-CR-0013082-2017; “Pitt counseling center director charged with possessing child porn,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 2017; Consent Agreement and Order, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs vs. Edward Joseph Michaels, Ph.D., File No. 17-63-06111, August 22, 2017; Disciplinary Action Report, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Professional Licensing, Orders served from 7/23/2018 through 7/27/2018; Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, “Lookup Detail View” of Edward Joseph Michaels, accessed 8/23/2018; and Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law Report on Edward Joseph Michaels, created 8/30/2018.

Norwegian Government Seeks to Review Cases That Involved Psychiatrist Who Was Convicted for Child Porn

The Norwegian ministry in charge of children’s and equality issues is “evaluating” whether there’s reason to further review child protection cases that involved a psychiatrist who since has been convicted of possessing huge quantities of child pornography.

BroynThe leader of the state commission that appoints psychiatric experts to evaluate those involved in child welfare cases has already advised child protection agency Barnevernet to review cases in which the convicted psychiatrist was involved. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that Katrin Koch, who heads the commission known as Barnesakkyndig kommisjon, said it was “reasonable” to question whether his professional ability to assess cases of child welfare was influenced by “his private situation.”

Downloaded porn for more than 20 years

That “private situation” concerns his conviction earlier this year on charges that he had downloaded child pornography for more than 20 years. News service ABC Nyheter reported that police who raided his home in January last year found 205,536 computer files showing sexual assaults on children.

[Note: the details of this case are the same as that of Norwegian psychiatrist Jo Erik Broyn, who was convicted on April 23, 2018 and sentenced to one year and 10 months prison.]

“The case is large in terms of content, and contains photos and video of grave character,” Jens Johannes Andenæs, a prosecutor for the Oslo Police District, told ABC Nyheter. Police seized a total of 193,491 photos and 12,045 videos containing fully 4,064 hours of various assaults on children. Police also found eight printed publications featuring child porn and 94 photos printed on paper.

They all portrayed, according to court documents, sexual assaults against children, between children and against themselves. Norwegian police had raided the 56-year-old psychiatriat’s home after receiving tips from police in Switzerland that a Norwegian IP-address had been found on a computer service that facilitates sharing of child pornography.

State police unit Kripos “worked further on the case,” Andenæs said, and found that the psychiatrist was the user of the IP-address. He was widely viewed as a highly respected psychiatrist who was called upon as an expert to evaluate cases being handled by the child protection agency. In line with press practice in Norway, he has not been publicly identified.

State commission member

He was, however, a member of the commission itself that evaluated the work of other psychiatrists and child welfare workers at Barnevernet. He has admitted that at the same time, he was downloading huge amounts of photos and video of sexual assaults on children. He was suspended from his job as a doctor and psychiatrist, and from the commission, shortly after his arrest.

The case caught the attention of the British state broadcaster, BBC, which recently ran a documentary about it entitled “Norway’s Silent Scandal.” It noted how Norway’s child protection agency has been accused of taking children away from their parents without justification. The disputed cases often involved those where Barnevernet feels compelled to crack down on parents who spank or otherwise physically punish their chilren because such punishment is not allowed by law Norway. Barnevernet has been the target of massive international protests in cases involving parents who are involved in conservative international church movements.

The commission has already gone through the convicted psychiatrist’s record as an expert witness and found that his evaluations did not deviate from other commission members’ evaluations of the same cases. The commission has found only one case when he was used as a court-appointed psychiatrist since its founding in 2010.

Einar Salvesen, a specialist in psychology who contributed to the BBC report, told Aftenposten that he’s urging formation of a commission to go through the Barnevernet cases where the convicted psychiatrist was involved, also prior to 2010.

Source: “Convicted psychiatrist’s cases reviewed,” NewsInEnglish.no, URL: http://www.newsinenglish.no/2018/08/20/convicted-psychiatrists-cases-reviewed/, August 20, 2018.

Psychologist Michael Dane Ward Sued by Children He Molested

WardFormer Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department psychologist, Michael Dane Ward, 46, serving a sentence of 98 years to life in state prison for molesting two young family members in La Cañada Flintridge, is being sued by the boy and girl.
Ward was sentenced in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 30. The crimes occurred between October 2013 and November 2015, when the boy and girl were each under the age of 10, according to court documents. “Ward preyed on plaintiffs’ vulnerable ages when he perpetrated such heinous acts,” according to the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Friday.
The boy is now 13 and his sister is 12. The suit was filed on their behalf by their mother and alleges childhood sexual abuse, gender violence, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Ward repeatedly tied up and sexually abused the boy, the suit alleges, and engaged in “naked wrestling” with the girl. The abuses occurred at various places, including the children’s bedrooms, and in April 2016 the children told their mother about the abuses, the suit alleges.
“La Cañada Flintridge boy, girl molested by former sheriff’s department psychologist sues,” City News Service, 6 Aug 2018, https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2018/08/06/la-canada-flintridge-boy-girl-molested-by-former-sheriffs-department-psychologist-sues/

Psychologist Richard Lenhart in Prison, Deemed a Sexually Violent Predator

Former state college psychologist Richard Lenhart, 57, is serving a state prison sentence for sexually assaulting two patients for more than 17 years.
Former Attorney General Kathleen Kane indicted Lenhart for conducting “touching therapy” with a women. Lenhart then submitted nearly 700 insurance claims for more than $71,500. He entered a plea accepting a conviction without admitting guilt, in 2015.
Lenhart was sentenced in 2016 to three to six years at Somerset state prison, and was deemed to be a tier three sex offender and sexually violent predator, and ordered to pay $71,557 in restitution and a $1,000 fine.
Bret Pallotto, “He’s in prison for ‘touching therapy,’ but doesn’t want to register under Megan’s Law,” Centre Daily Times, 30 July 2018, https://www.centredaily.com/news/local/crime/article215633080.html

Psychiatrist Mark Zweifach, Caught Watching Child Porn, Wants License Back

Former psychiatrist Mark Zweifach, who was caught watching child porn at work, is trying to get his medical license back.
The alarming discovery was made in 2007 at a Medical Center in El Cajon. According to Medical Board documents, it was over a three-month period that, while at work, on his work issued computer, Zweifach viewed inappropriate images, including child pornography.
He lost his license, but the San Diego Police Department reports that the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, in conjunction with the DA’s Office, completed an investigation into possession of child pornography allegations.
The Medical Board has not yet decided to reinstate Zweifach’s license.
Jennifer Kastner, “Former San Diego Kaiser doctor caught watching child porn at work tries to get his license back,” ABC News 10 San Deigo, 26 July 2018, 10news.com/longform/former-san-diego-kaiser-doctor-caught-watching-child-porn-at-work-tries-to-get-his-license-back

Psychiatrist Pieter Van der Westhuizen Accused of Rape

Nambian psychiatrist Pieter Van der Westhuizen, 61, is charged with three counts of rape, a count of indecent assault, and a charge of attempted murder, alternatively using a drug to stupify or overpower a woman to have unlawful intercourse with her.
All of the charges are based on allegations that he sexually assaulted one of his female patients at Swakopmund on 7 November 2015. The state is alleging that Van der Westhuizen arranged with one of his female patients to visit his consulting rooms for a procedure to be carried out on 7 November 2015. Van der Westhuizen allegedly also prescribed medication to the patient, and instructed her to take that on the morning before her consultation with him.
The patient allegedly had a panic attack after taking the prescribed tablets and was rushed to his consulting rooms, where she was given more medication, and was left with Van der Westhuizen. The state is alleging that Van der Westhuizen gave the patient an overdose of the tranquilisers Valium and Ativan and the central nervous system stimulant Ritalin, and indecently assaulted and raped her while she was alone with him at his practice.
Werner Menges, “Namibia: Psychiatrist to Deny Rape Charges,” All Africa, 23 July 2018, https://allafrica.com/stories/201807230595.html