Therapist sexual abuse cases reveal a dark past, ethical concerns

Concord, New Hampshire (AP) — Two years after accusing a former therapist of sexual abuse, she connected his address to an online directory and came across an unfamiliar alias. A search for her name for her found a newspaper article about the death of a 10-year-old girl.

“What does that have to do with Peter?” She wondered.

The next pair of obituaries she found points to near the connection. Sitting on a computer in a public library in January 2020, she scrolled past a few small blurry photos on a newspaper archive site until a large photo appeared.

She thought “Bingo”. “That’s him.”

What’s her next thought?

“This bastard.”

New Hampshire is one of the 10 states that can be renamed while in prison, but unless you go to the courthouse where the change is approved or do a serious investigation, the civilian is someone’s previous identity. There is no way to know. It was the latter that was discovered that Peter Stone was once a drunk driver, Peter Duchame, who was convicted of manslaughter.

What happened in the meantime raises complex questions about the right to build a new life after imprisonment and what the patient can or should know about the past of the mental health provider.

“How much do you want someone to tar for the rest of your life?” Said Professor Albert “Buzz” Shell of Franklin Pierce Law School, New Hampshire University. “Should all therapists be forced to reveal to the next patient that they have been convicted of a crime?”

Stone, then named Peter Duchame, was drunk at the age of 33 when he boarded a parked motorcycle in Nashua, New Hampshire on October 1, 1989. A fourth grader, Lacy Packer, died on her way back to Massachusetts with his father. 2 days later.

Despite being convicted of drunk driving five times in the past, he holds a valid driver’s license, which was his third fatal accident, but others are using alcohol. did not. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire responded with new legislation, and The Boston Globe called him “the most notorious drunk driver in New England history.”

But over time, he helped people recover from their addiction, earned a master’s degree in psychological counseling, and devoted themselves to leading treatment programs from behind the bar.

Two years later, he legally changed his name to Peter Stone. He was released from prison in 2002 and eventually set up a store in North Conway as a licensed drug and alcohol counselor.

“I stand as proof that people can change,” Stone wrote to state regulators in 2013.

Last July, he was charged with five cases of exacerbated violent sexual assault under a law criminalizing sexual contact between a patient and his therapist or health care provider. Such behavior is also prohibited by the American Psychological Association’s Code of Ethical Code of Conduct.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, a 61-year-old woman said she had a romantic feeling for Stone about six months after she began treatment for anxiety, depression and alcohol abuse in June 2013. I did. Unethical, she said he finally started sexual contact in February 2016.

“It crossed the line,” the woman remembers saying after he pulled up his pants. “‘When will we see you again?'”

According to one of the most restrictive laws, the ACLU in Illinois, about half of the states have no restrictions on renaming after a felony conviction, while 15 states have been convicted of a particular crime. There is a ban or a temporary waiting period.

Stone properly disclosed the criminal record for license applications and other documents, according to a review of records obtained by AP. Gary Goodno, who teaches counseling ethics at Plymouth State University, said disclosure to clients is not mandatory. But he believes the client has the right to know about several convictions, including the murder of a vehicle.

“One of the underlying principles of the counseling profession is the concept of credibility,” he said. “We should tell the truth.”

According to court documents, Stone told investigators that the woman once caressed him, but did not know how his DNA arrived on her shirt. The state suspended its counseling license in December 2017 and voluntarily abandoned it four months later.

Stone refused an interview with AP and his lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. The prosecutor refused to comment on any aspect of the case. Hearings are scheduled for September to determine Stone’s ability to stand on trial.

Donna and Gordon Packer, who became advocates of more stringent drunk driving after her daughter’s death, were notified by the status of Stone’s name change, but only when contacted by AP, his recent arrest. I found out.

Donna Packer said Stone asked to help get out of jail early after her husband offered forgiveness in a letter a few years ago. It hit the couple as manipulative, she said, yet she wanted him to change.

“I don’t like him still sacrificing people,” she said. “I didn’t have to do this.”

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