Mon. Jun 20th, 2022
Therapist sex abuse case reveals dark past, ethical concerns

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Two years after accusing her former therapist of sexual abuse, she plugged his tackle into an internet listing and got here throughout an unfamiliar alias. A search of that identify turned up newspaper articles concerning the dying of a 10-year-old woman.

“What’s that bought to do with Peter?” she puzzled.

A pair of obituaries she discovered subsequent pointed nearer to a connection. Sitting at a public library laptop in January 2020, she scrolled previous a number of small, blurry pictures on a newspaper archive web site till a bigger one popped up.

“Bingo,” she thought. “That’s him.”

Her subsequent thought?

“You bastard.”

New Hampshire is certainly one of 10 states that permit individuals to vary their names whereas incarcerated, however the public has no means of realizing somebody’s earlier identification except they go to the courthouse the place the change was accredited, or do some critical sleuthing. It was the latter that led to the invention that Peter Stone was as soon as Peter Dushame, a drunken driver convicted of manslaughter greater than 30 years in the past.

What occurred in between raises difficult questions on the proper to forge a brand new life after incarceration and what sufferers can or ought to find out about a psychological well being supplier’s previous.

“To what extent will we need to tar someone for the remainder of their life?” mentioned Albert “Buzz” Scherr, a professor on the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law. “Should each therapist be pressured to disclose to any incoming affected person that they’ve been convicted of against the law?”

Stone, then named Peter Dushame, was 33 years previous and drunk when he plowed right into a parked motorbike in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Oct. 1, 1989. Lacey Packer, a fourth grader on her means house to Massachusetts along with her father, died two days later.

He held a legitimate driver’s license regardless of 5 earlier drunken driving convictions, and it was his third deadly crash — although the others didn’t contain alcohol. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire responded with new legal guidelines, and The Boston Globe referred to as him “essentially the most infamous drunk driver in New England historical past.”

But over time, he devoted himself to serving to individuals recovering from dependancy, incomes a grasp’s diploma in counseling psychology and main therapy applications from behind bars.

Two years later, he legally modified his identify to Peter Stone. He was launched from jail in 2002 and finally arrange store as a licensed drug and alcohol counselor in North Conway.

“I stand as proof that folks can change,” Stone wrote to state regulators in 2013.

Last July, he was charged with 5 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault beneath a legislation that criminalizes any sexual contact between sufferers and their therapists or well being care suppliers. Such conduct is also prohibited by the American Psychological Association’s moral code of conduct.

In a latest interview with The Associated Press, the 61-year-old lady mentioned she developed romantic emotions for Stone about six months after he started treating her for anxiousness, melancholy and alcohol abuse in June 2013. Though he instructed her a relationship can be unethical, he finally initiated sexual contact in February 2016, she mentioned.

“‘That crossed the road,’” the lady remembers him saying after he pulled up his pants. “‘When am I seeing you once more?’”

While about half the states haven’t any restrictions on identify modifications after felony convictions, 15 have bans or short-term ready intervals for these convicted of sure crimes, in keeping with the ACLU in Illinois, which has one of the crucial restrictive legal guidelines.

Stone appropriately disclosed his felony document on licensing functions and different paperwork, in keeping with a overview of information obtained by the AP. Disclosure to shoppers isn’t necessary, mentioned Gary Goodnough, who teaches counseling ethics at Plymouth State University. But he believes shoppers have a proper to find out about some convictions, together with vehicular murder.

“One of the ideas that underlies the counseling occupation is the notion of veracity,” he mentioned. “We ought to inform the reality.”

According to courtroom paperwork, Stone instructed investigators that the lady fondled him as soon as, however that he didn’t understand how his DNA ended up on her shirt. The state suspended his counseling license in December 2017, and he voluntarily surrendered it 4 months later.

Stone declined to be interviewed by the AP, and his legal professional didn’t reply to requests for remark. The prosecutor declined to touch upon any side of the case. A listening to to find out Stone’s competency to face trial is scheduled for September.

Donna and Gordon Packer, who turned advocates for more durable drunken driving legal guidelines after their daughter’s dying, had been notified by the state of Stone’s identify change however discovered of his latest arrest solely when contacted by the AP.

Donna Packer mentioned after her husband provided forgiveness in a letter years in the past, Stone responded by asking for assist getting out of jail early. That struck the couple as manipulative, she mentioned, even so, she had hoped he had modified.

“I hate that he’s nonetheless victimizing individuals,” she mentioned. “It didn’t have to be this manner.”

– Officialshop.hyperlink Editorial Team –

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