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This note examines the problem of sexual misconduct by psychotherapists and discusses both civil and criminal remedies available to victims. Section I defines the problem and explores how sexual relationships between therapists and patients arise and why they are harmful to the patients. Section II traces the development of the different administrative and civil causes of action available to victims of sexual misconduct. This section also discusses how insurance companies have responded to lawsuits from patients. Section II also examines the recently enacted criminal statutes that criminalize sexual contact between therapists and patients. This section discusses the range of behavior that the statutes cover and the controversy surrounding the elimination of consent as a defense. Finally, Section III examines the sufficiency of various legal remedies to combat sexual misconduct and concludes that although the criminal legislation enacted by most states provides some benefits to victims of sexual misconduct, the criminal statutes are generally too broad and legislatures could better serve psychotherapeutic professionals, their victims and the general public by revising the statutes to fulfill additional goals.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
2.46 MB



  • Subject
    • Psychology and Psychiatry

    • Sex Crimes

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 33

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • 645

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022