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Psychologist released after bond granted

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Marked by testy exchanges between attorneys and well attended by friends and family of the accused, the bond hearing Friday for a psychologist charged with exposing himself to an 8-year-old patient ended with Kenneth McPherson being granted release.

Kenneth McPherson: Augusta psychologist is accused of exposing himself to an 8-year-old patient.   Special
Special
Kenneth McPherson: Augusta psychologist is accused of exposing himself to an 8-year-old patient.

McPherson, 54, was arrested Monday on a charge of nonaggravated child molestation. He is accused of showing his penis and a book with pictures of nude children to the patient at his office at 2160 Central Ave.

His attorney, Melissa Detchemendy, argued that some of McPherson's young patients are under treatment for disorders such as autism and Asperger's syndrome, making them possibly "unstable." She suggested the allegations might not be true for this reason.

"These are the kinds of kids he was worried about because of these allegations," she said.

She noted that McPherson's office is equipped with video cameras and has a two-way mirror that allows parents to watch their child's session.

However, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine said the sessions with children were done on the second floor, with parents left in a downstairs waiting room.

Since McPherson's arrest, multiple patients have come forward to accuse him of inappropriate acts, Paine said. However, no new charges have been filed yet because officials have not completed interviews with the victims, some of whom suffer from mental disorders.

"The victims appear to be coming out of the woodwork to say the least," Paine said.

A search of McPherson's office by Richmond County sheriff's investigators uncovered some sexual materials.

"Upon searching the office, there are numerous documents containing nude pictures of grown men, books on masturbating and other inappropriate sexual innuendo that were contained within papers identified as various patients of this defendant," Paine said.

Detchemendy said that the books were for psychological work and not pornographic material.

Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. granted a bond of $35,000 on the condition that McPherson not practice psychology and have no contact with children younger than 16.

Afterward, Fleming said he was bothered by such cases because the people interviewing the victims might lead them to a preordained conclusion. Paine then argued that the large number of victims coming forward in the case be acknowledged.

Fleming replied: "Then you'll have a good time prosecuting it then. You may not be as successful as you think."

Another bond hearing

James Griffin, 29, was denied bond after Senior Judge William M. Fleming called him a threat to the community. Griffin was arrested after a four-hour standoff with the Richmond County SWAT team on Feb. 27. Griffin was involved in a fight with his ex-fiance that morning at about 3:21 a.m., according to Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine. He is accused of holding her at gunpoint and driving her to his home, where he tore off her clothes and then beat her in the head when she tried to flee. After she got away, he traveled to a friend's residence and fired gunshots into the home when he discovered he had been locked outside, authorities said. This location, 3333 Karian Drive, is where SWAT team members were called when Griffin began threatening to shoot himself. He was ultimately taken into custody without incident. Griffin is charged with kidnapping, criminal attempt to commit rape, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and five counts of aggravated assault.

Comments (15) Add comment
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realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 03/18/11 - 12:21 pm
0
0
Just thinking out loud...but

Just thinking out loud...but I wonder if Judge Fleming would have made the same comments about the interviewers if the defendant had been named Tyrone Jackson and represented by a PD...

happychimer
16619
Points
happychimer 03/18/11 - 12:40 pm
0
0
Sounds like the judge is

Sounds like the judge is biased and already formed an opinion . He should be banned from any further actions on the case.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 03/18/11 - 12:57 pm
0
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happychimer I agree Fleming

happychimer I agree Fleming does seem to be biased and that is a shame to label these children this way and to suggest that our law enforcement would try to sway them.

Sweet son
9988
Points
Sweet son 03/18/11 - 01:01 pm
0
0
What is the big legal word?

What is the big legal word? Recuse (sp), I think that is what the good judge should do NOW! I am sure that the DA's office is furious but can't say a thing. But we can!

shadypines
7
Points
shadypines 03/18/11 - 01:08 pm
0
0
It really does sound as

It really does sound as though the judge is biased in this case. Somehow, I doubt he would recuse himself, though. His smug comments lead me to believe that he's not the type to recognize that he is biased, or that it might prevent him from being a fair judge in the case. My son has Asperger's, but that doesn't prevent him from telling the truth, nor does it make him more predisposed to telling lies. On the contrary, children with Asperger's will generally be painfully honest when it comes to things that have happened to them. They are very literal in their thinking.

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 03/18/11 - 01:17 pm
0
0
Judge Fleming is retired,

Judge Fleming is retired, guys. He won't hear anything else in this case. The Superior Court judges have the retired judges do bond hearings b/c the Superior Court judges are too scared to give someone bond (even though state law and jail overcrowding often require someone be given a bond).

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 03/18/11 - 01:27 pm
0
0
I know he will not serve as

I know he will not serve as the judge hearing the case or if it goes to trial preside. BUT you would think with his years of experience he would know not to make such comments. Really Dr. McPherson may be the one to suffer because the judge has gotten a good many of us pretty stirred up about this. I am sure the DA's office has a fire set under them also.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 03/18/11 - 01:43 pm
0
0
Ponder this.....if duck
Unpublished

Ponder this.....if duck hunting.....do you shoot at the duck or shoot where you think it will be?

marie21
5
Points
marie21 03/18/11 - 02:37 pm
0
0
I realize that Melissa

I realize that Melissa Detchemendy was just defending her client BUT I am highly offended that she called autism and Asperger's syndrome patients "unstable."

GregPeterson
0
Points
GregPeterson 03/18/11 - 03:20 pm
0
0
The comment by the judge is

The comment by the judge is very disturbing and makes me wonder about him.
To say any further might be inappropriate but I think you know what I mean.
I have no idea if the defendant is guilty or innocent - but for a judge to make that comment - is in effect (and at the very least) - like pre-deciding cases.
Even if he is retired with limited powers - it is not appropriate.
If I was in the prosecutors office - I would be very suspect of the judge himself and his ability to fairly decide the bond similar cases.
Anyone who has lived in Augusta a long time, knows this judge and his rulings have - at times - been accused of being biased.

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 03/18/11 - 03:48 pm
0
0
ok, a few months back a woman

ok, a few months back a woman was arrested and not given bond for hitting her child with her car due to an agrument, now this doctor is given bond although their are MORE allegations against him. Really?!?! Justice is not blind, she only sees green...... :(

justus4
99
Points
justus4 03/18/11 - 05:46 pm
0
0
...nothing new here, just
Unpublished

...nothing new here, just another miscarriage of justice where your judicial system FAILED your children. This decision is unbelievable! What message is being sent?! How can it be legitimately and intelligently defended? It can't. This guy is getting preferential treatment (we know why) but puts other's children at risk by granting this bond. Again, nothing new here, just poor decision-making by those SWORN to protect citizens and sworn to apply the law equally - obviously, in this case they failed.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 03/18/11 - 06:32 pm
0
0
Sweet Son I believe you are

Sweet Son I believe you are right. He looks a little green.

Suzy Q
1
Points
Suzy Q 03/19/11 - 09:53 am
0
0
What does the photo taken at

What does the photo taken at the parade have to do with anything? He's just sitting in a chair (if that is him, can't be sure)....just sitting. Nothing in his hands. Are you trying to imply he was drinking? Do you see a drink anywhere? I sure didn't.

As to any comments he may have made in court, I imagine by now he's seen and heard it all. Not hard to see how someone might be a little cynical after all these years of hearing just how awful people can be.

corgimom
30383
Points
corgimom 03/19/11 - 02:08 pm
0
0
"I realize that Melissa

"I realize that Melissa Detchemendy was just defending her client BUT I am highly offended that she called autism and Asperger's syndrome patients "unstable.""

Some of them are unstable. Some of them aren't.

Just like kids who don't have autism and Asperger's syndrome.

fred1217
4
Points
fred1217 03/20/11 - 12:31 pm
0
0
Is this the same Judge that

Is this the same Judge that denied bond for the mother that "bumped" her son with her SUV recently at Butler High School. Whoever came up with the quote "Justice is Blind" obviously never made it to Augusta-Richmond County. Does anybody know whether the lady in the Butler incident is still in jail??? She seemed a lot less of a threat than a lot of the people that these Judges are allowing bond for. On the surface it looks like there is clear bias going on.

Goldie
0
Points
Goldie 03/21/11 - 10:40 am
0
0
the Dr. took it these kids

the Dr. took it these kids were not going to be able to say anything against him, and now the judge seems to be supporting him? WTH? I have 2 children both disabled and they are both totally honest. most disabled children dont lie because they are missing some points in the brain mech. that others have. this judge needs to retire from the bench.

Goldie
0
Points
Goldie 03/21/11 - 10:42 am
0
0
BTW: it states he had photos

BTW: it states he had photos of the people he saw? isnt that enough to keep him from the public?

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