Victory Clinical Services Therapist Charged with Sexually Assaulting Client
Police in Lansing have arrested and charged a therapist with sexually assaulting one of his clients. 48-year-old Joseph Hethorn, who online listings say works at Victory Clinical Services, has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct as a mental health professional.
According to online court records, the alleged assault happened in November of 2018.
Hethorn received his counselor’s license in May 2018 after graduating from Spring Arbor University. He does not have any LARA disciplinary actions listed.
Hethorn was booked at the Ingham County Jail but is now free after posing bond. He has a pre-exam conference scheduled for February 21.
His license has not been suspended as of Friday and he has not been banned from practicing while out on bond.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sexual Assault by Counselors and Therapists
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com fights for survivors of sexual violence, helping them find the justice and financial compensation they deserve in civil cases. We’ve asked Brian to add some information on the legal options for those who have survived sexual violence by mental health professionals:
Therapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals are in positions of trust and authority. It’s extremely important for these professionals to act respectfully towards their patients. But unfortunately, there have been dozens of reports of mental health and other healthcare professionals exploiting their positions of trust and sexually abusing their patients. These predators must be held accountable for their crimes and the victims must get the full support they need and deserve. Additionally, third parties (like healthcare facilities) should also be investigated to determine if they failed to keep their patients safe.
In many cases of sexual assault involving mental health professionals, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against their therapist, the facility where the assault occurred, or both parties. For example, a healthcare facility might be considered negligent and held liable for damages if they failed to report previous allegations of sexual misconduct involving an employee.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault by a mental health professional, we understand your pain and we want to help. Consider contacting one of our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers to learn more about your legal options.