Therapist faces sex assault charges in affair with patient (with document)
Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009
By Susan Misur, Register Staff
GUILFORD After allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a depressed and suicidal patient for more than a year, a New Haven-based therapist was arrested this week on a sexual assault charge, police said Wednesday.
Alan M. Shulik, a 58-year-old town resident, turned himself in to police Monday, and is accused of second-degree sexual assault, Chief Thomas Terribile said. The victim reported the incident Aug. 31.
Shulik met the victim when she and her husband went to Shulik for marriage counseling in Shulik’s New Haven office, Bishop Street Counseling. The Cheshire couple attended four to five sessions together, and Shulik requested the husband and wife come separately to appointments, according to Shulik’s arrest warrant.
He soon told the victim that she should e-mail him daily with her feelings about her marital situation, and he would tell her she was “wonderful and beautiful and her husband was not good to her,” the arrest warrant says. It adds that Shulik found the woman to be clinically depressed and sent her to a psychiatrist for medication.
The woman told Shulik she was beginning to have feelings for and becoming dependent on him, and at a mid-June 2008 therapy session, Shulik “had her sit on his lap, holding her hands, hugging and kissing her,” the warrant continues.
Shulik said he was ending their patient-doctor relationship, and the two started dating in late June 2008, frequently calling, texting and e-mailing each other, and having intercourse at Shulik’s Durham Road home. Shulik allegedly told the victim he would break up with his girlfriend so they could be together and get married, the warrant says.
The pair would meet two to three days a week for intercourse at Shulik’s home and office, and also traveled to Boston, New York City and Meriden to have sex in hotels, the warrant reads.
In February 2009, after the therapist broke up with the victim, the woman tried to commit suicide while sitting in her car in Meriden, swallowing numerous anti-depression pills. But, she changed her mind after looking at a picture of her young child, according to the warrant.
When she saw Shulik in May, they began having sex again, but in August, he sent her a text message to say he was out of the state and newly married to his girlfriend. A few days into his marriage, Shulik sent another text message the victim to say he loved her, the warrant says.
In late August, the two saw each other again, but when the victim saw Shulik with another woman at his home, she decided to report him to police.
The warrant provides therapy notes from the victim’s new therapist that say Shulik “violated her trust by having a sexual and romantic relationship with her … he has devastated this family.”
The warrant says Shulik went to police Oct. 12 and voluntarily told them he had had a consensual sexual relationship with the victim. Terribile said the investigation continues, and police are documenting the trips and hotel visits with receipts.
Second-degree sexual assault is defined as a situation in which a psychotherapist and a patient engage in sexual intercourse during a psychotherapy session; a patient or former patient is emotionally dependent on the psychotherapist; or the patient or former patient have sexual intercourse by means of therapeutic deception.
Shulik was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to be in court Tuesday.
A message left for Shulik at his office was not returned Wednesday.
Susan Misur can be reached at 789-5742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.