A 28-year-old woman who says her therapist with Boulder Mental Health Partners exposed himself and told her to hit him during a one-on-one counseling session is suing the agency for negligence.
The woman, identified in the lawsuit by her initials MA, said that when she checked herself into Warner House in October 2022 for treatment for addiction to methamphetamine and fentanyl, therapists followed her and prepared her. started doing it.
The therapist, Jose Yepes, faces three felony charges and two misdemeanor charges in connection with the alleged assault, including two counts of illicit s*x during a fake medical examination. He has pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial in February.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Boulder County District Court, and names the Mental Health Center of Boulder County, also known as Mental Health Partners, as a defendant. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.
“Stand up for yourself and what you believe in, because people like him will take and take and take until No one should check them.” “I don’t care if I’m a sick – quote, unquote – drug addict. I’m a human being and I have feelings and I have rights.
OlxPraca is not identifying the woman because she is the victim of an alleged s*xual assault.
Since the alleged assault, MA has not returned to an inpatient treatment facility or sought treatment for addiction and trauma. She said she is still trying to get clean.
“It’s affected me in every way. It’s worthless,” MA said. “It makes me feel like I can’t get things done. It makes me feel frustrated but there has to be a better way.
MA has battled addiction since 2017, when she began using dr*gs following the d*ath of her longtime partner. She has been in and out of treatment for years, and in October 2020 she checked herself into Warner House, a residential treatment facility in Boulder.
On the day she arrived, Yepes, an unlicensed psychotherapist, and a female staff member met with MA to search for contraband. MA asked that a female staff member search the bag due to privacy concerns, but Yepes insisted she do so, the lawsuit states.
Within days, Yepes began following MA around the facility and began talking about his interests in art, design and computer programming, according to the complaint. The lawsuit states that MA never mentioned these interests to her, but often posted about them on her social media accounts.
“Even more troubling, Yepes referred to and alluded to things that MA discussed during their therapy sessions, and MA began to suspect that Yepes had access to her confidential therapy records, The lawsuit said. “Similarly, on several occasions, MA found Yapps hanging outside her private bedroom. It was clear to MA that Yapps heard about her while she was in her room, as she He also knew about which he discussed alone in the privacy of his room.
Yepes then insisted that the MAs meet with him for one-on-one “spiritual cleansing” and “energetic healing” sessions. In these sessions, Yepes dimmed the lights, turned on an oil diffuser that filled the room with floral scents, and played electronic trance music. He also massaged MA without consent, according to the lawsuit.
When MA tried to resist, Yepes scolded her and told MA he could “disappear,” the lawsuit said.
In one session, Yepes allegedly took off his pants and insisted that MA take off his shoes and walk on his back, according to the lawsuit. And in another meeting in a private room, he told MA he could no longer contain his s*xual and romantic feelings for her and described what he wanted to do, according to the lawsuit.
MA resisted him and later recorded a conversation with him on his iPad in which Yepes admitted to crossing the line, the lawsuit said. She reported Yepes’ behavior and s*xual assault to a staff member, but no one took steps to make sure Yepes left her alone, the lawsuit said. She left the facility the next day because she was afraid of the yips.
A Warner House spokesperson told the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder that Yapps was fired on Dec. 1, 2020 — within 24 hours of staff receiving a complaint about him.
On January 13, 2021, he met with a detective from the Boulder Police Department, and on January 19, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued for Yapps.
After Yepes’ arrest, Mental Health Partners closed Warner House for eight weeks. The Daily Camera reported.. The agency published a statement on its website saying the decision was not taken lightly. A spokeswoman told CAMERA that she would not comment on whether the Yapps case led to the temporary closure but said, “MHP takes the safety and well-being of our staff and clients very seriously and we felt that this immediate action was the best option. moment.”
Siddhartha Rathod, one of MA’s lawyers, said his firm is proud that MA is standing up for him and other vulnerable people seeking drug addiction treatment.
“Mental health centers and treatment centers have a responsibility to protect the people who come there for treatment,” he said. “They are a vulnerable population and the responsibility to protect it must be increased.”
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