Being convicted of an alleged sex offense can have serious repercussions beyond any criminal penalties imposed by the court. Those convicted of sex offenses may lose their jobs, their professional licenses and their status in the community. In addition, they may be required to register as sex offenders, which can make it extremely hard to find a job or even a place to live.
A 76-year-old therapist in Iowa City is currently facing criminal charges of sexual exploitation of a client. Police allege the man had sexual relations with a woman client on 25 or 30 occasions over the past year. Police claim the man admitted the sexual relations to them. Police also say the man admitted the relations began during a therapy session at his office. The therapist is facing a Class D felony charge of sexual exploitation by a therapist.
Under the Iowa Code any sexual contact by a therapist with a patient or client, or a former patient or client within a year of the termination of the professional relationship, is a serious misdemeanor. Sexual contact with an emotionally dependent client is an aggravated misdemeanor, regardless of how long ago the professional relationship was terminated. A pattern or practice of exploiting a patient or patients is a Class D felony.
Anyone facing charges like this needs experienced and knowledgeable legal advice. It is critical to thoroughly investigate the claims of the police as well as the alleged victim. If the state claims the defendant confessed, the circumstances of the confession need to be investigated to determine if the defendant's constitutional right to counsel was violated.
Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen, "Police: Therapist had sexual contact with client," Stephen Gruber-Miller, March 21, 2016