Psychiatrist Gavin Meany Accused of Repeatedly Sexually Assaulting Patient
Twin Cities psychiatrist Gavin P. Meany, 38, was arrested on Friday, September 13 after a patient reported that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted her during private sessions and once at Meany’s home. The female victim was in therapy for past sexual trauma.
Meany has been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The alleged assaults started in early 2017 and continued until August of this year.
According to prosecutors, Meany groomed and manipulated the victim. The alleged assaults began as touching and progressed to intercourse while Meany’s wife and son were traveling outside of town, the prosecution said in court.
Meany has worked as a psychiatrist at several different facilities in the Twin Cities area. At the time of his arrest, he had been working as an independent contractor with Counseling Care since January of 2018. That company has offices in both Elmo and Burnsville. He has been fired from that position.
Police say that the woman contacted them on August 27 and told them she had first seen Meany at the Melrose Center clinic in St. Louis Park in August of 2015 for treatment of an eating disorder and other mental health difficulties related to “past trauma that involved prior sexual assaults from her youth as well as domestic violence from a prior partner.”
She saw Meany on a weekly basis at this location. At first, police say she told them that the meetings were professional but that he eventually started asking her uncomfortable personal and sexual questions. The prosecution says that he began grooming her during this period by lifting up her shirt and touching her under the guise of looking for signs of self-harm. This touching later progressed to holding and rubbing her hands.
Meany was fired from the Melrose Center in late 2016 for undisclosed reasons. He then got a position at the West End clinic in St. Louis Park and the victim followed him there. According to the criminal complaint, the touching began to escalate at this location to rubbing the woman’s legs and touching her bare stomach, along with touching her over her underwear.
This touching continued on a weekly basis. In May of 2018, the two began meeting at the Counseling Care clinic in Burnsville, where the woman says the touching became more intense. During the same month, Meany and the victim had sexual intercourse at his home. Sexual contact continued during therapy sessions.
The woman told her new therapist about this sexual contact on August 27 and that therapist contacted law enforcement. According to the authorities, Meany admitted that he knew what he had been doing was wrong and to having sex with her in his home.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
Legal Options for Victims of Sexual Assault by Psychiatrists & Other Mental Health Professionals
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents victims of sexual assault in civil cases. Brian has offered to share some general information on the legal rights of those who have been sexually assaulted by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals:
The professional relationship between a mental health professional and their patients is sacred and must be respected. Patients trust their psychiatrists with the most personal details of their lives, and these professionals have a legal duty to stay within the boundaries of their professions. But like many other fields that involve working from positions of trust, there is a high potential for abuse in mental health care.
When a psychiatrist sexually assaults a patient, that patient must be aware of their legal rights. These crimes can be prosecuted within the criminal justice system, but the legal rights of victims don’t always stop here. In many cases, victims of sexual assault by mental health professionals may have grounds for a lawsuit against their abuser and possibly a negligent third party, such as the facility where the assault happened.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a psychiatrist, the experienced sexual assault victims attorneys at Abuse Guardian are prepared to help you understand your rights and take legal action to find justice. You can learn more about your rights in a free consultation.
Location of Counseling Care in Burnsville, MN
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