Therapist guilty of groping patient
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Nov 4, 2013, 12:44
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Local therapist Dr. Derek Roy Findlay pleaded no contest to a sexual battery charge in Colonial Heights Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Findlay was accused by one of his patients after an incident in his office on April 18, 2012. Findlay was the co-owner of Tri-Cities Counseling, located at 3628 Boulevard in Colonial Heights.
According to Colonial Heights Commonwealth Attorney Bill Bray, on the day of the incident, the adult patient went to Findlay’s office upset. Findlay moved to the couch where the patient was crying, and put his arm around her to comfort her. Findlay then proceeded to touch her breast and place his hand on her thigh, then asking if the gestures were OK with her.
The female patient filed a complaint the next day, April 19, with the Virginia Department of Health Professions. Findlay resigned shortly after the incident, and the police investigation began on April 24.
Investigation of the incident led to Findlay’s arrest on May 2. Findlay was charged with a misdemeanor sexual battery charge, which involves touching of the victim by force and against their will.
According to the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Findlay was a licensed Clinical Social Worker in Colonial Heights. A clinical social worker helps to counsel those with mental health or substance abuse problems, through therapy sessions or by helping the patients to find resources to help themselves.
Records from the VDHP show Findlay’s license was issued October 4, 1999, and was put under suspension on Sept. 14, 2012. The reasoning behind the suspension was this incident, and also as a reprimand for improper billing practices. In April of 2012 Findlay falsified records and billed patients for sessions that had never happened. This information is detailed in a public order from the VDHP, released on Jan. 8, 2013.
The report also states that Findlay would regularly walk the patient involved in the April 19 incident to her car and hug her after their sessions, and that he told her “she had ‘gorgeous skin’ and a ‘nice tan,’” in February or March of 2011.
Findlay was charged and sentenced 12 months in jail, with the 12 months suspended, along with fines. The VDHP still lists Findlay’s license as suspended.