Tag Archives: sex with patient

Florida psychologist Daniel R. Lerom gives up license in face of patient sex-drugs charges

Florida psychologist Daniel R. Lerom has given up his license to practice in Florida, in order to avoid further disciplinary actions by the state licensing authority.

The Florida Department of Health suspended Lerom in January 2010 on an emergency basis, based on the results of an investigation which found that Lerom treated a female patient beginning in 1995, when the patient was 23 and married and continued through her divorce and on and off through early 2009.  The state’s document containing the findings of the investigation states that the patient was prescribed narcotic pain medications following a spine surgery and that Lerom repeatedly asked the patient for some of the drug and continued to share her narcotics for several months.

Lerom began a sexual relationship with the patient in February 2009 which continued until May 1, 2009, when Lerom’s wife read a text message on his phone sent by the the patient.  Lerom’s family confronted him the next day about his relationship with the patient.  According to the state’s document, he and the patient engaged in sexual activity/intercourse on 23 occasions and exchanged “hundreds” of calls and text messages.

Lerom abruptly ended the relationship after his family confronted him, which the patient did not take well, resulting in hospitalization for three days in May 2009.  It was discovered that Lerom billed the patient’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance for 80-minute “specialty” consultations, all occurring on days when Lerom engaged in sexual activity (“including having oral sex or sexual intercourse”) with the patient, resulting in the exhausting of her annual counseling benefits without delivering counseling.  He later assured her that he’d had her benefits restored, which was not true.

In giving up his psychology license, Lerom agreed never to apply for a license to practice a health-care profession licensed by the Florida Department of Health.

Source: Order of Emergency Suspension In Re: The Emergency Suspension of the License of Daniel R. Lerom, Psy.D., License Number PY 4407, Case Number: 2009-11318, State of Florida Department of Health, filed January 15, 2010 and “Psychologist Agrees to Give Up License to Avoid Disciplinary Action Involving Sexual Harassment,” The Ledger, June 1, 2010.

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Terry Zuehlke, psychologist-clinic exec director, suspended for sex with former patient

The Minnesota Board of Psychology has disciplined Terry Zuehlke, a Golden Valley psychologist, for having a sexual relationship with a former patient.

The board suspended his license indefinitely, it said in a disciplinary action released Tuesday.

The board said that Zuehlke, who was executive director of Pathways Psychological Services in Golden Valley, treated a patient between 2001 and 2004 for individual and couples counseling. Within several months of ending their professional relationship, Zuehlke and his client saw each other socially, then they engaged in sexual activity, the board said.

Zuehlke violated state statute and board rules by having a sexual relationship with a patient within two years of terminating a professional one, the board said. It suspended his license for 21 months. To have his license reinstated, Zuehlke must undergo a psychological evaluation, agree to treatment if recommended, and take courses in professional protocols. He must also pay a fine of $2,500.

Source: “Golden Valley psychologist is disciplined by state board,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 25, 2010.

Board suspends psychologist Michael Streppa on charge of “abusive” and “dangerous” sexual relationship with patient

Officials with the state psychology board have suspended a Morganton psychologist’s license.

He is accused of having a sexual relationship with a patient.

The North Carolina Psychology Board suspended Michael Streppa’s license on March 9, said Martha Storie, the board’s executive director, and he is not allowed to practice as a psychologist while his license is suspended.

The board received two complaints against Streppa, 45, that allege he “engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient” over the course of about two years.

The patient is not named in the board’s order of summary suspension or in a letter it sent to Streppa.

The letter from Storie and the board, dated April 1, says Streppa started treating the patient in 2004 when she was 16 years old, but an intimate relationship didn’t begin until June 2008. By that time, the patient was 21 years old.

The letter says Streppa terminated the patient’s treatment on April 27, 2009. According to the order of summary suspension, the intimate relationship continued until the patient was hospitalized in February.

The letter states, “The sexually intimate relationship between you and patient X, which was abusive in nature, also included dangerous situations that you participated in with patient X, involving individuals that were not known by you or patient X, are all documented in electronic mail correspondence.”

The patient was hospitalized on Feb. 15, the letter says, and told hospital staff about the relationship with Streppa.

Staff psychologists and the state psychology board’s investigators met with Streppa on March 5, but he refused to be interviewed, according to the board’s letter.

It details the state statutes and ethical standards the board believes he violated, including a prohibition against engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient.

Based on the complaints and Streppa’s unwillingness to respond to the board’s investigation, “the board finds that the public health, safety and welfare require that the board take emergency action” to suspend Streppa’s license.

Streppa resigned on March 12 from Broughton Hospital, where he served as a senior psychologist 1, said Mark Van Sciver, a spokesman for the state. Streppa started at Broughton on Dec. 12, 1998. Van Sciver said Broughton has no complaints or investigations against Streppa.

Storie said the alleged relationship developed through Streppa’s private practice.

The state first licensed Streppa on April 30, 1997. Storie said Streppa has not been the object of any board actions in the past.

Streppa may answer the allegations against him during a hearing expected to occur during the state psychology board’s meeting May 5-7 in Greensboro. Streppa or the board has the right to request a postponement of the hearing, Storie said, but the suspension would remain in effect.

Streppa also could negotiate a consent order with the board before the hearing, Storie said. Both parties have to agree on a consent order. She said such an order could result in anything from dismissing the charges against Streppa to revoking his license.

After the hearing, the board will issue a final decision regarding the allegations, the board’s letter says.
Numerous efforts by The News Herald to reach Streppa for comment were unsuccessful.

Source: “Board suspends psychologist’s license,” The News Herald, April 9, 2010.

California psychologist Joanie F. Gillispie surrenders license to state following sexual intercourse with former patient

On November 27, 2009, psychologist Joanie Farley Gillispie, Ph.D. surrendered her license to the Board of Psychology of the State of California. Gillispie was charged by the Board in September 2009 with Gross Negligence, Sexual Relations with a Former Patient, Violation of Rules of Professional Conduct and Repeated Negligent Acts. According to the Board’s Accusation, patient “PR” was referred to Gillispie in early 2001, following an industrial accident in which he sustained massive injuries to his lower body. Gillispie became his treating psychologist, meeting with him at his home twice a week, meeting with his wife, counseling with his medical providers and talking to him regularly by phone. After the therapy relationship ended in March 2002, Gillispie kept in contact with PR in person, by phone and by e-mail. Gillispie engaged in sexual intercourse with the former patient on July 3, 2002 and at least five additional times that year, and continued to have sexual intercourse with him through December 2004.

Source: Stipulated Surrender of License and Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Joanie Gillispie, Ph.D., Psychologist’s License No. PSY 16728, Case No. 1F-2007-182872, effective November 27, 2009.