Contact: Atty. Francis L. Holland
Telephone: 55 (73) 9123-2538
SOCIAL WORKER/CLIENT SEXUAL CONTACT
A CLASS “C” FELONY
Milwaukee Social worker Peter Nelson may have committed two or more Class C felonies by engaging in a sexual relationship with his client, Theola Nealy, says American Atty. Francis L. Holland, an African American afrosphere blogger who blogs from his home in Brazil, under his reading of Wisconsin statutes.
Although the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office has opined that the therapist/client sex was not illegalbecause it was "consensual", afrosphere Atty. Holland points to two statutes under which the social worker might be charged, one of which specifically states that “consent is not an issue under this subsection.” Atty. Francis L. Holland says,
"There are chargeable crimes and penalties available
- “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist,” (
WisconsinStatutes Section 940.22 (2)), and (Class 3 Felony)
- “Second Degree Sexual Assault” (
WisconsinStatutes Chapter 940, Section 940.225(c) (2), paragraphs (a), (b), and/or (c)). (Class 3 Felony)
Did Peter Nelson, a Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare social worker commit one or more criminal acts when he engaged in sexual intercourse with an adult female client whose two children had been taken from her care by the Bureau?
“If convicted and sentenced consecutively
for all potential Class 3 felonies
Peter Nelson could conceivably face life imprisonment.”
Peter Nelson, a social worker with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, acknowledges that he had sex with a then current client, thirty-two year-old Theola Nealy, during a period in which Ms. Nealy was trying to demonstrate to this social worker and to his employer, the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, that the client was capable of caring for two children who had been taken from her by the Bureau. Peter Nelson has acknowledged that he engaged in sexual intercourse and impregnated his client during the course of the social worker/client relationship.
“If convicted Nelson would be required to register as a serious sex offender,
face lifetime court supervision.”
Ms. Nealy reports that she engaged in sex with social worker Nealy because he represented to her that he would not authorize the return of her two children in Bureau custody otherwise. http://www.wisn.com/news/20606268/detail.html
ABC’s WISN.COM reports,
“A social worker who was supposed to be helping a
The District Attorney's Office told 12 News it will not file criminal charges against Nelsen because the sex was consensual, and it's not a crime for a social worker to have sex with a client. That news devastated Nealy.
"He should go to jail," Nealy said. http://www.wisn.com/news/20606268/detail.html
The criminal law issue this case presents is whether, as per the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office and as a matter of law, “it’s not a crime for a social worker to have sex with a client,” or whether
“SEXUAL EXPLOITATION BY A THERAPIST”
It appears, based on the social worker’s statements to the ABC affiliate, that Peter Nelson may have committed the criminal acts of “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist,” (Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2)) and “Second Degree Sexual Assault” (Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 940, Section 940.225(c)(2), paragraphs (a), (b), and/or (c)).
(2) SEXUAL CONTACT PROHIBITED. Any person who is or who holds himself or herself out to be a therapist and who intentionally has sexual contact with a patient or client during any ongoing therapist−patient or therapist−client relationship, regardless of whether it occurs during any treatment, consultation, interview or examination, is guilty of a Class F felony. Consent is not an issue in an action under this subsection. (Emphasis added.) http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf
Section 940.22 (1)(i) defines the term “therapist” broadly and specifically includes social workers among those who commit a criminal act when they engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual contact with clients. Section 940.22 (1) (i) states that:
“Therapist” means a physician, psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, nurse, chemical dependency counselor, member of the clergy or other person, whether or not licensed or certified by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy. http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf
Explaining the application of Section 940.22 (1) (i), the State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001, says that Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2), entitled, “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist”:
Prohibits intentional sexual contact by any person who is or who holds himself or herself out to be a therapist with a patient or client during any ongoing therapist-patient or therapist-client relationship, regardless of whether it is or is not consensual and whether it occurs during any treatment, consultation, interview, or examination. “Therapist” is defined in Section 940.22 (1) (i) as “a physician, psychologist, SOCIAL WORKER, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, nurse, chemical dependency counselor, member of the clergy or other person, whether or not licensed or certified by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy.” As provided by Section 940.22 (3), a therapist who suspects that a patient or client has been sexually exploited by another therapist may, with the patient’s or client’s consent, report the sexual contact to the appropriate regulating body or the district attorney (Class C felony). (Emphasis added.) Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001
Although the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office has announced its decision not to prosecute the social worker, "because the sex was consensual", Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2), entitled “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist” clearly states, under the heading “SEXUAL CONTACT PROHIBITED”, that “Consent is not an issue in an action under this subsection.” Therefore, the defense that the District Attorney’s Office offers for the social worker’s behavior is quite specifically excluded as a potential defense by the statute itself therapist anti-sex abuse statute itself. Consent simply is not available as a defense when sexual contact occurs between a therapist and client or patient.
Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001 makes it clear that a social worker is a “therapist” for purpose of the statute, so Peter Nelson was statutorily prohibited from having sexual contact and sexual intercourse with his client, Theola Nealy.
SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSUALT
Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 940, “CRIMES AGAINST LIFE AND BODILY SECURITY”, provides in Section 940.225(c) (2), entitled “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT”:
Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class C felony:
(a) Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of force or violence.
(b) Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person and causes injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim.
(c) Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who suffers from a mental illness or deficiency which renders that person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the person’s conduct, and the defendant knows of such condition.
FORCED COMPLIANCE IS NOT “CONSENT”
Even though consent is a potential defense under this Section, the definition of consent makes it highly unlikely that consent was legally possible under these circumstances.
“Consent is defined as words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.” Minors, persons suffering from person incapable of giving consent, and the defendant knows this (Class C felony). Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001, p. 11, 12.
Since Theoly Nealy’s children have been removed from her home due to a decision that she was unfit, and since Peter Nelson would have had complete access to the records explaining the nature of her unfitness, such as psychological and/or psychiatric records, or any possible use of substances, Peter Nelson would have been in the best position possible to be aware of any reasons why Theoly Nealy might well not be “competent” to give her consent under these circumstances, even if she appeared willing.
The fact that Peter Nelson had it within his coercive power, or represented to Nealy that he had it within his power, to deny her access and parental rights to her two children already in state custody, made it impossible for Ms. Nealy to “freely” accept Peter Nelson’s demands for sex, because the consequences of refusing could have been the permanent loss of parental and visitation rights with her children. Far from freely consenting, Ms. Nealy could not freely refuse to have sex with this social worker, because he had and continues to use his professional power and authority to deny her access to her children.
Arguably, there is no greater “use or threat of force or violence” that a social worker could impose upon a woman than to refuse to return children to her.
“For a social worker to impregnate a client
and then take her baby for himself is an abomination
that simply cannot be tolerated in a civilized society.” - - Atty. Francis L. Holland
Under the Section 940.225(c)(2)(a), “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT,” a jury might well decide that withholding access to children constituted “use or threat of force” under these circumstances.
Under Section 940.225(c)(2)(b), “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT,” the trier of fact might well decide that this “sexual intercourse . . . without consent . . . cause[d] injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim.”
And under Section 940.225(c)(2)(c), “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT,”a jury might well decide whether Nealy “suffer[ed] from a mental illness or deficiency which render[ed]” her “temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising” the social worker’s conduct, and whether the social worker “kn[ew] of such condition”, based on his access to Theola Nealy’s child abuse and neglect records, psychological and psychiatric evaluations, or other means.
The fact that Peter Nelson has subsequently withheld a child from her Theola Nealy, which child is the product of their sexual relationship, conceived in the context of the social worker/client negotiations therapy and negotiations over the return of her children, evinces behavior by Nelson using the power of his professional office in a sexually coercive manner for force his sexual advances upon his client.
Taking away a third child from the woman and obtaining custody of that child when Ms. Nealy refused to accede to the social worker’s demands for a continuing sexual relationship further demonstrates that Peter Nelson used and continues to use force to compel sexual relations upon Nealy, by the threat and the fact of personally keeping her youngest child from her even at this time.
SOCIAL WORKER COULD FACE
15 YEARS IMPRISONMENT
ON EACH CLASS “C” FELONY COUNT
The State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau reports that the crimes of “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist” and “Second Degree Sexual Assault” are Class 3 felonies punishable a ten thousand dollar crime, 15 years imprisonment or both. If tried and convicted for each instance of a violation of these statutes, and if penalties were imposed consecutively, then Peter Nelson could conceivably be sentenced to life imprisonment.
CO-WORKERS MIGHT ALSO BE HELD
Any co-worker or other therapist involved in the treatment social worker/client relationship with Ms. Nealy and who knew of the relationship between Mr. Nelson and Ms Nealy but failed to investigate and report it may be criminally liable for the commission of a misdemeanor. Section 940.22(3)(a), entitled, “Sexual exploitation by therapist; duty to report” provides:
(3) REPORTS OF SEXUAL CONTACT. (a) If a therapist has reasonable cause to suspect that a patient or client he or she has seen in the course of professional duties is a victim of sexual contact by another therapist or a person who holds himself or herself out to be a therapist in violation of sub. (2), as soon thereafter as practicable the therapist shall ask the patient or client if he or she wants the therapist to make a report under this subsection. The therapist shall explain that the report need not identify the patient or client as the victim. If the patient or client wants the therapist to make the report, the patient or client shall provide the therapist with a written consent to the report and shall specify whether the patient’s or client’s identity will be included in the report. (Emphasis added.) Wis. Stats., p. 8 (Emphasis added.) http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf
Under 940.22(3) (d), providing penalties for social worker violation of the reporting statute,
Whoever intentionally violates this subsection by failing to report as required under pars. (a) to (c) is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Wis. Stats., p. 8 http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf Under Section 939.51, a “Class A Felony” is punishable by “a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed nine months, or both.” LRB, p. 12 http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:sQnMo7KrXwMJ:www.legis.state.wi.us/LRB/pubs/ib/01ib1.pdf+wisconsin+intercourse+%22social+worker%22+client&hl=en
"Atty. Francis L. Holland refused to speculate
as to why the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office refused to prosecute at least
two separate felonies committed by a white male therapist
on a Black female client, where the defendant has confessed to the elements of the crimes."