Former Psychologist Agrees to Plea Deal After Allegations of Sexual Assault
A former Farmington therapist pleaded no contest to reduced charges of inappropriate conduct with a teenage female patient on Thursday, August 30. 68-year-old Daniel Affrunti was initially charged with 12 counts of second-degree sexual assault after he was accused of using his trusted position as a psychotherapist to sexually take advantage of his young patient.
However, Affrunti voluntarily surrendered his license to the Connecticut Department of Public Health before a large portion of the alleged sexual conduct occurred. This means that it would have been difficult for the state to prove its case in a trial, according to prosecutor Donna Mambrino.
Affrunti’s lawyer argued that because the girl was over the age of legal consent, and because Affrunti had surrendered his license, that no crime had taken place.
According to the plea agreement, Affrunti pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint and two counts of second-degree breach of peace. He received a three-year suspended prison sentence and two years of probation.
Allegations Against Daniel Affrunti
These charges were based on two alleged incidents in 2016 in which Affrunti held down the victim and touched her inappropriately. The woman initially notified police of an incident involving Affrunti in September 2015, but later decided not to pursue the case. After that incident, Affrunti surrendered his license.
A warrant for Affrunti’s arrest says that the two continued to see each other and had sexual contact several times. Other mental health professionals eventually told the young woman that Affrunti was taking advantage of her. The girl then contacted police again in June 2017, which led to an investigation and arrest of Affrunti.
Legal Recourse For Victims of Therapist Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com has a long track record of helping the survivors of sexual violence get the justice and support they deserve. We’ve asked him to share some thoughts on how the legal system can help survivors of sexual assault by therapists and other medical professionals:
The relationship between a therapist and a patient is built on trust. Additionally, therapists are in positions of power over their patients because of this trust. This is why sexual contact between therapists and patients is a form of sexual misconduct, whether that contact is consensual or not. When a therapist violates their patient’s trust in a sexual way, that patient may struggle to trust therapists and other medical professionals in the future and deal with long-lasting emotional trauma as a result.
It’s crucial for these sexual predators to face criminal charges and penalties, but unfortunately, justice is not always served by the criminal justice system. Even when convictions do happen, these courts don’t always adequately address the needs of survivors. However, the civil court system can help survivors find justice as well as financial support for the setbacks they face.
Survivors of sexual assault by a therapist or other medical professional may have grounds for a lawsuit against the perpetrator. Additionally, hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities can sometimes be held liable if their negligence failed to prevent a sexual assault by one of their employees. Demanding accountability from all parties involved in a sexual assault can help empower other victims to speak out against their own experiences and potentially prevent others from being abused in the future.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted by a medical professional and are curious about your legal options, we highly advise discussing your case with an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer.
Former Location of Daniel Affrunti’s Offices