A psychotherapist at the Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents in New Kent has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting a former patient. 72-year-old Herschel “Mickey” Harden was indicted on Wednesday on two felony counts of object sexual penetration.
Harden is accused of sexually assaulting a former patient in 2018 and 2019. According to the indictment, one incident happened “on or about Oct. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018” and another “Jan. 1, 2019 through April 30, 2019.”
The Virginia State Police arrested Harden on Wednesday and he has an arraignment hearing in New Kent County Circuit Court scheduled for Monday, February 10.
The authorities have asked anyone with information on this case or other allegations of abuse at the Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents to call the Virginia State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 804-537-6788.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazin represents some of the survivors of abuse at Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents. Kevin has offered to add some commentary on the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused by psychotherapists:
Mental health professionals are highly trusted by their patients and this professional relationship is sacred. When a therapist violates this trust by sexually victimizing a patient, he or she must be held accountable for their crimes. Additionally, their victims deserve answers, support, and justice for the trauma they’ve suffered.
It’s important to report predatory therapists to the authorities before they can continue victimizing patients. Additionally, victims may have grounds for further legal recourse by filing civil lawsuits against sexual predators working in mental health. In some cases, healthcare facilities can also be held liable for sexual assaults committed by therapists working at their facilities.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a psychotherapist, you can learn more about your legal rights by discussing your case with one of our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers in a free consultation.