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I'm a professional counselor. Last month a 14 year old girl…

Customer Question
I'm a professional counselor...

I'm a professional counselor. Last month a 14 year old girl who I'd seen once before showed up wanting to see a female therapist. I told her "let's go to the front desk to get you reassigned". She said she had personal information she wanted to release. She said "wait: I can talk to you before that. I'm here." She said that she was with two girls walking around and met a 20 year old guy, and she ended up being raped. "I don't know who he was. I don't want to press charges." I asked if she wanted to discuss that with an attorney and I gave her the name of two free legal attorneys. She didn't respond. I was getting the impression she might be just looking for attention. "I don't want it reported" she said. I wanted to grab a female therapist before client left but wasn't successful. After client left, I spoke to the female therapist I was referring case to and told her the points client made. New therapist became client's therapist immediately. I thought Jean, the therapist could use some discovery before doing any reporting. I did not report this case to the state at that time and neither did Jean. Cut to chase: I've been hit with a misdemeanor for not reporting. I was fired from my job. The clinical director is ultimate responsibility to speak with a therapist and discuss filing a report or other actions. Didn't happen. Never had a chance to talk to clinic administration before being fired. A complaint has been issued with my licensing board. I didn't know that a warrant had been issued for my arrest! I spent weekend in jail and met with judge via video court. I am released on my own recognizance. I feel like I was the girl's attacker the way I've been treated. I've reported abuse to the state in the past but this time I didn't feel I had enough information and expected Jean to pick it up. Complaint is that I didn't report it to the state. I don't know what the judge's sentencing could be. I'm physically sick over this. I'm not expecting to lose my license. I noticed on my licensing board's web site where a therapist had sex with one of his clients and his license was put on probation for 3 months. I pleased "No contest" but now I'm afraid of what sentencing judge could come up with. All the other respondents in front of the judge yesterday pleaded no contest and got sentence and fine waived. I was expecting or hoping for probation.

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when was the warrant issued?

New Mexico

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
9/12/2017
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Bill Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2,269
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Dear Customer ,

Thank you for posting your criminal law question and we are sorry to hear how things have followed unfortunately as of late of you in relation to the warrant , arrest and misdemeanor charge.

Do you have a copy of the citation and summons for review ?

What specific offense are you being charged with ?

You may have a defense to the charge and the mandatory reporting failure so please follow up with me with the specific charge.

It is most likely this charge here:

32A-4-3. Duty to report child abuse and child neglect; responsibility to investigate child abuse or neglect; penalty.

A. Every person, including a licensed physician; a resident or an intern examining, attending or treating a child; a law enforcement officer; a judge presiding during a proceeding; a registered nurse; a visiting nurse; a schoolteacher; a school official; a social worker acting in an official capacity; or a member of the clergy who has information that is not privileged as a matter of law, who knows or has a reasonable suspicion that a child is an abused or a neglected child shall report the matter immediately to:

(1) a local law enforcement agency;

(2) the department; or

(3) a tribal law enforcement or social services agency for any Indian child residing in Indian country.

You may deny that you had proper cause to report to law enforcement.

Looking forward to your follow up.

In return remember to rate positively today.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

So I hope you rate FIVE STARS today.

Thank You

Attorney Bill

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