- Stephen McGinley, a mental health counselor from Palm Harbor, Florida, gave up his license when he was suspended over allegations that he sexually pursued a 19-year-old patient.
- The teen woman came to McGinley for counseling after being raped twice.
- According to the Department of Health order, McGinley was accused of kissing and fondling her during a session.
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A therapist in Florida voluntarily gave up his license when he was suspended over an allegation that he sexually pursued a teen patient.
The order said that McGinley had been accused of kissing a two-time rape survivor who he was counseling, and telling her she was “extremely hot” and that he wanted to “make love” to her “slowly.”
The unnamed patient started seeing McGinley in February, after she was raped in high school and during the first week of college.
According to the order, McGinley started bringing up his personal life in the fourth session, telling the patient he was dating a 19-year-old stripper while going through a divorce.
McGinley then started making flirtatious comments about her appearance, sitting next to her on the couch during their sessions, and even gave her his phone number, according to the ESO.
The order said McGinley told the patient “that she was ‘extremely hot,’ that he had fantasized about her, and that he enjoyed flirting with her.”
At one point, he said that he’d like to “hang out” with her but that he could risk losing his license if he did so, according to the ESO.
During a session on April 15, the order said McGinley convinced the patient to slow dance with him to a song on her phone, then pulled her onto his lap, cupped her breasts, touched her vagina through her pants, and put her hand on his penis through his pants.
It didn’t go further because his receptionist soon knocked on the door, indicating their time was up. The following day, McGinley convinced the patient to come over to his house for dinner on April 18 and she agreed, according to the ESO. But soon after, she contacted her former therapist and filled her in on the relationship she was having with her new counselor.
Her therapist then told her parents what was going on. When McGinley tried to contact her the next day, her parents responded and told him to stop trying to contact her, according to the order.
They initially took their concerns to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office. According to the ESO, McGinley “admitted to a deputy that he felt his conduct” had been “unethical.”
About a week after the ESO was filed, McGinley voluntarily gave up his license to practice as a mental health counselor in Florida, the Herald reported.
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