On October 23, detectives with the Crimes Against Children Unit in El Paso arrested 55-year-old family counselor Jose E. Martinez based on accusations of child sex abuse. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The alleged victim was an adolescent boy and one of Martinez's patients.
According to authorities, Martinez is a family counselor at Joe E. Martinez LPC-NCC Counseling, a psychiatrist office located at 4147 N. Mesa St., No. A106.
Police have asked any former patients who may have been victims or who have information related to this case to contact the Crimes Against Children Unit at 915-212-0382.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan helps survivors of sexual violence speak out, seek answers, and find the justice they deserve. We've asked him for some insight into the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by counselors and therapists:
The relationship between a counselor or therapist and their patients is one of the most sacred professional relationships there is. Perhaps more than any other professional-client relationship, the relationship between a therapist and their patient is wholly dependent on trust. Unfortunately, a handful of these psychiatric professionals exploit their positions of trust in order to sexually abuse their patients.
When a patient is sexually abused by a therapist or counselor, it's important for the patient and their family to be aware of their legal rights. Reporting the incident to law enforcement is a good first step, as the police will investigate the crime and handle the prosecution of the perpetrator. But families in this tragic situation should also understand that they have legal rights in civil court as well as criminal court.
In some cases, the survivor and their family may have the right to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator and/or the facility where the assault occurred. For example, a counselor's employer may also be held liable for failing to prevent the assault if negligence was involved, such as allowing a therapist to continue working even after being accused of sexual assault in the past.
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or another psychiatric professional, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers.