Kootenai Therapist Accused of Sexually Assaulting Vulnerable Adult
A therapist with Kootenai Behavioral Health was arrested in July for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage patient he was counseling after she attempted suicide. 43-year-old Jeffrey Worley is scheduled to stand trial on February 26 in Coeur d’Alene’s First District Court on charges of rape and sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult. He had pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Worley was arrested following an investigation by the Coeur d’Alene Police based on allegations by the teenage patient, who said Worley began a sexual relationship with her while she was still in high school. The victim, who is now 19 years old, said that she and Worley had sex “hundreds of times” at his office on Ironwood Drive and in other locations, including in Spokane.
The alleged relationship lasted from 2016 until the summer of 2017. The victim says that when she tried to end things with Worley, he threatened to commit suicide. The victim said that she decided to report Worley in order to stop him from potentially victimizing others.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sexual Assault by Medical Professionals
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of sexual violence find justice by filing civil lawsuits. Here is some insight from Brian regarding the legal options available to those who have survived sexual assaults by therapists and other medical professionals:
The relationship between therapists and their clients is built on a foundation of trust. While most therapists are honorable people, a handful of them exploit this trust in order to sexually abuse their patients. These heinous crimes traumatize their victims and damage the public trust in mental health professionals as a whole. The perpetrators of these crimes must be prosecuted. In some cases, the facilities where these crimes occur must also be held accountable for their negligence.
In some cases of therapist sexual abuse, third parties may also be liable for enabling abuse. For example, a mental health facility might be considered negligent if they hired a therapist who had a history of sexual misconduct complaints. In cases of negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the facility, their abuser, or both.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a therapist or another medical professional, we understand how painful this time is for your family. We want to help you find justice for what’s happened. To learn more about your family’s legal options, get in touch with one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors attorneys for a free consultation.