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VENTURA : Psychologist May Face Discipline by State

A Ventura psychologist accused of having a sexual affair with a client will be notified within a week whether he will be disciplined by state authorities, officials said Tuesday.

The state Board of Psychology met Saturday to discuss the allegations against Jerome R. Evans, said Tom O’Connor, the board’s executive officer.

In a proposed ruling, Administrative Law Judge David R. Rosenman recommended that Evans be barred from practicing psychology for 120 days and placed on probation for five years for his role in the liaison with a former female client.

Evans is accused of starting a 10-month sexual relationship with the woman, who has not been identified, shortly after she terminated therapy with him in August, 1987. He stopped the affair in June, 1988, after the woman’s new therapist advised him to do so, court documents show.

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Evans contended in a hearing in Ventura earlier this year that the woman was not a patient because she was seeing him for vocational counseling.

But he billed her insurance company for a psychological diagnosis of long-term depression, not for vocational advice, Rosenman found. It is a breach of psychologists’ professional ethics to conduct a romantic relationship with a patient.

The woman, whose husband divorced her after he found out about the affair, suffered psychological trauma because of the relationship and was briefly hospitalized, documents show.

Besides recommending suspension of Evans’ license, Rosenman’s proposed order includes a requirement for Evans to undergo psychological therapy for at least one year and to complete course work in the areas of professional ethics and client relations.

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Evans has often testified as an expert witness on issues involving child and adolescent psychological problems.


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