Psychotherapist Found Guilty of Raping His Patient During Therapy Session--Jury Awards $950,000
On March 6, 2019, an appellate court covering appeals from Westchester County jury trials agreed to uphold an award of $500,000 in punitive damages and $450,000 in compensatory damages to a then 54 year old female patient of a psychotherapist. The psychotherapist, Dr. Knack maintained his office at his home in Chappaqua. He claimed that the patient sexually assaulted him and that she was incredible since she continued to treat with him for months after the alleged incident and belatedly reported the rape to police.The jury agreed that the psychotherapist forcibly had sexual intercourse with his patient who sought treatment for sexual abuse by family members when she was a child.
The Court noted that it was "particularly heinous" considering the psychotherapist was in a position of trust and knew she had been the victim of a sexual assault years earlier and was especially vulnerable. The appeals court found the amounts awarded were reasonable and the evidence relied upon, including inculpatory taped phone conversations, was appropriately put before the jury. Jane Doe v William Knack, 2019 WL 1051858
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