A State College psychologist accused of “re-traumatizing” sex abuse survivors has been ordered to hand over his license and pay more than $68,000 in civil penalties and court costs.
The state Board of Psychology has revoked Richard Scott Lenhart’s license and levied the penalties stemming from accusations that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with two former patients.
Lenhart was charged in January with 111 counts of professional misconduct by the board in a formal disciplinary action. He faced up to $10,000 in civil penalties for each charge.
Lenhart unsuccessfully appealed the disciplinary action and was ordered in March to give up his license and pay $50,000 in penalties and $18,433 for the cost of the state board’s investigation, according to court documents.
He then appealed the penalties, calling the civil fine excessive, according to court documents. The board, however, upheld the penalties in a decision issued last week. The latest decision gave Lenhart 30 days to give up his license and pay the fines.
Lenhart has denied he had inappropriate sexual relationships with two women. But, in a written response to the allegations, he admitted to performing sexual acts with one patient as part of her treatment at his South Pugh Street office.
He argued the contact was not sexual but rather part of treatment and that the patients asked him to do what he did because they believed it would help their healing, according to court documents.
According to the charges, Lenhart engaged in a pattern of sexual grooming and repeated sexual misconduct with the two patients over years of treatment.
Both patients were survivors of prior sexual trauma and were seeking treatment, in part, because of that past abuse, according to the order. The Department of State said Lenhart exploited the patients, “re-traumatizing them in his role as psychologist.”
Lenhart had his license suspended in November due to the alleged sexual misconduct. He is represented by attorney Wayne Bradburn Jr., who could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.