There are many allegations that can have major implications for a therapist. For those who practice here in Wisconsin, one accusation that can be particularly impactful is being accused of having sexual contact with a patient. That is because, under state law, this sort of allegation could expose a therapist to felony charges.
Wisconsin law makes it a felony for a therapist to have intentional sexual contact with a person they have a therapist-patient/client relationship with during that relationship. It classifies such conduct as the Class F felony of sexual exploitation by a therapist.
As a Class F felony charge, a charge of this sex offense could expose a therapist to a lot of prison time if they are convicted. Specifically, they could face a prison sentence of up to 12 and a half years. A conviction on this class of charge could also have major financial repercussions for a therapist, including exposing them to a fine of up to $25,000.
Unlike some other sex crimes, the issue of consent does not play a role in whether the offense of sexual exploitation by therapist has occurred. So, cases involving allegations of this offense can be focused on some very different issues, including evidence-wise, than other sex crime cases.
Given the unique issues their case could present and the major repercussions their case could have for them, therapists who have been accused of engaging in sexual contact with a patient here in Wisconsin may want to promptly seek out skilled legal guidance. Sex crime defense attorneys can assist such individuals with the defense issues particular to their case.