Cases involving doctor reopened

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As far back as 2005, concerned parents have been warning authorities that something was not right with psychologist Kenneth McPherson.

McPherson
McPherson


One mother went to the Department of Family and Children Services after her 4-year-old son said McPherson had made him change into his "jungle underwear" and then kissed him on the cheek during a session. Another mother went to police after her son flashed her. When she asked why he had done this, the boy said, "That's what we do at Dr. Ken's office."

These allegations are contained in a search warrant filed after investigators seized computers, USB drives, photos of nude men and women and other items from McPherson's office at 2160 Central Ave. last week. McPherson, whose patients are primarily children, was arrested on charges that he showed his penis and a book with pictures of nude children to an 8-year-old, borderline autistic male patient. That allegation was made earlier this year.

In light of his arrest, authorities are revisiting the 2005 allegations -- both of which never resulted in charges.

In an e-mail Thursday, District Attorney Ashley Wright said her office possesses a closed file on McPherson that includes the allegations by the two victims from 2005. Charges were never brought because of a lack of evidence, she confirmed.

"Because we are reviewing the file in light of new evidence, I prefer not to give any specifics about what occurred," Wright said.

Sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry, who oversees the department's Criminal Investigations Division, said he recalled evidence being an issue with at least one of the allegations made in 2005.

"This case came up a couple of times I was told about," Autry said. "One was sent to the DA and there just wasn't enough there."

This week, authorities added a charge against McPherson, bringing the total to three counts of child molestation. He had been granted a $35,000 bond by Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. on March 18 but remains in jail after being denied bond on the new charges, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine said.

According to an incident report filed last week, a mother whose children have been treated by McPherson asked each of them whether he had touched them inappropriately. Her 9-year-old son said yes, and the mother alleges the boy was touched many times over two years. The details of the third charge were not immediately available.

At a hearing on the new charges Wednesday, Judge Michael Annis denied bond, saying the victims were the most vulnerable members of the community.

"He never left jail," Paine said.

McPherson received his license to practice psychology in 1990. A check Thursday showed it was still active.

Matt Carrothers, of the Georgia secretary of state's office, said his office cannot legally say whether a complaint has been filed against McPherson, or whether an investigation by the office is under way.

Comments (36) Add comment
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nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 03/24/11 - 08:49 am
0
0
Thank you Judge Annis.

Thank you Judge Annis. Fleming should feel ashamed for letting him out on bond withthe first charge.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 03/24/11 - 08:54 am
0
0
My respect for Judge Annis

My respect for Judge Annis goes up a hundred fold. I realize he never left jail because of new charges, Judge Fleming could have set bail and left his negative comments toward the victim unsaid.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 03/24/11 - 09:04 am
0
0
The parents are not the
Unpublished

The parents are not the perpetrators.....so, stop blaming them. If the charges are true, McPherson has violated professional ethics and just a downright creep. How successful do you think a therapy session with an emotionally disturbed child would be if mom and dad were in the room eavesdropping?

hhinorton
3
Points
hhinorton 03/24/11 - 09:09 am
0
0
You're right, parents are

You're right, parents are not the perpetrators but therapy would be more successful if the child has the support of the parent and the parents can learn how to interact in the way the therapist does. It is not eavesdropping, it is good practice.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 03/24/11 - 09:26 am
0
0
What if the child's problems
Unpublished

What if the child's problems are directly related the punitive parenting style or emotional abuse by parents.....would that necessarily come out in a "group" session?

alsteve
0
Points
alsteve 03/24/11 - 09:36 am
0
0
1. You are assuming that b/c

1. You are assuming that b/c the parent isn't sitting in the room 100% of the time - they are not taking part in their childs therapy - I think your assumption is a bit off, but that is just my 2 cents.

2. I thank the Lord that my children are ok. I pulled them from therapy with McPherson b/c he made me uncomfortable.

Prayers to all those having to deal with this situation right now.

dixierose1218
0
Points
dixierose1218 03/24/11 - 09:41 am
0
0
Both of my children are in

Both of my children are in therapy and luckily have not come across an issue like this. Most therapists do not have the parents/guardians in the room when having a session with the children. This is due to confidentiality, ethics, and also in the event that a parent is causing an issue. Most children will not open up to others when an offending parent/guardian is around. The parents should not be blamed for any of this.
This person is the one that should receive all the blame. He knows that what he did to these children is inappropriate and can harm them for life. He preyed on innocent children that trusted him to help with their situation and he only made it worse. Put him under the jail for the rest of his life.
As for the victims, you are in my prayers. I can only hope that this doesnt scar them for the rest of their lives and that they are able to seek help from someone that truly has their well being in mind.

journey
0
Points
journey 03/24/11 - 09:45 am
0
0
Dr. McPherson has a veiwing

Dr. McPherson has a veiwing window via a 2 way mirror in all treatment rooms that parents can view and listen via speaker to all sessions. This is set up so that the child is not aware that the parent is listening in. As a parent, I wish all therapist had this available but it is only helpful if parents actually take the time to sit in on the sessions to really know what is going on. I am anxiously awaiting the jury verdict on this case.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 03/24/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
If he has a viewing window

If he has a viewing window why did not of these parents participate. Did they know this was available. I feel any parent that takes the time to get their child to treatment would observe if they were aware this option was available.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 03/24/11 - 10:20 am
0
0
In my humble opinion,
Unpublished

In my humble opinion, misleading kids by giving the impression that they were having a confidental conversation with McPherson while all the time time the parents were watching and listening is just as unethical and creepy as him exposing himself to them.

alsteve
0
Points
alsteve 03/24/11 - 10:42 am
0
0
not only does he have a

not only does he have a viewing window, he also has video camera set up in each room and portable monitors you can view from downstairs. I am in no way blaming anyone - if you read my previous comment u will see that. I was just stating a fact.

Sean Moores
1039
Points
Sean Moores 03/24/11 - 10:25 am
0
0
This conversation is going in

This conversation is going in a bad direction. We do not allow family members of victims or suspects to be blamed/accused/attacked in our comments. Stay away from that.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 03/24/11 - 10:56 am
0
0
I knew someone who insisted

I knew someone who insisted on sitting in on her child's sessions then when they got home she would whip him (not spank, whip with a belt) for things he said to his therapist. She thought she was doing a great thing. I thought the doctor should have kicked her butt out. I do think parents need to supervise and be involved but kids need a safe space in which to do their therapy.

my.voice
5156
Points
my.voice 03/24/11 - 11:03 am
0
0
Mr Moores. Allowing comments

Mr Moores. Allowing comments on this type of story is in general bad taste, it can only go downhill. Allow the news to be told, but dont taint the jury pool and or allow the accused and or families to be wailed on. Comments should not be allowed on a case where a trial is looming.

sassylassie
517
Points
sassylassie 03/24/11 - 11:18 am
0
0
And Mr. Moores, if that is

And Mr. Moores, if that is indeed the case, then I suppose the Chronicle has a lot of cleaning up to do in the comments category. Some comments are still there (with the pertaining article) 3 or 4 years later and are still being read, causing continued embarrassment, degradation, and harassment.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 03/24/11 - 11:42 am
0
0
I don't know if Mr. McPherson

I don't know if Mr. McPherson is innocent or guilty, I don't even know the man. I do know that sometimes children will say what they think their parents want them to say or misconstrue situations. Not saying this is what has happened but like all other cases, this man doesn't stand a chance even if he's innocent. His name is mud, his career is lost, and forever he'll be remembered as "that" doctor. He has already been tried and convicted in the public's eye.

hhinorton
3
Points
hhinorton 03/24/11 - 12:24 pm
0
0
Sorry to offend anyone.

Sorry to offend anyone.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 03/24/11 - 01:53 pm
0
0
LysanderSpooner, I truly hope

LysanderSpooner, I truly hope no child is ever put in your care. Yes some children do lie and if you are a good parent you usually know when they are lying. I am sure RC and our DA have investigated this fully and would not make accusations if they had no evidence. We as adults are here to protect children and mold them into law abiding adults.

mhanna
0
Points
mhanna 03/24/11 - 03:34 pm
0
0
I read that comment from

I read that comment from LysanderSpooner and suddenly got sick to my stomach. Yes children lie, but I dont know of very many children who would lie about being touched in an inappropriate manor, or being shown things that they shouldnt see. I could see where they may lie about it NOT happening out of fear. But hey....what do I know. I'm just a parent.

corgimom
38225
Points
corgimom 03/24/11 - 05:35 pm
0
0
Oh yeah, they say stuff. You

Oh yeah, they say stuff.

You would be amazed at the things they say. Because a whole lot of parents don't monitor what their kid watches on tv or movies, and have very adult conversations with their kid present. Or the kid has older teenaged relatives or their babysitter has older kids around, and nobody monitors that, either.

corgimom
38225
Points
corgimom 03/24/11 - 05:44 pm
0
0
You know, I don't know if

You know, I don't know if he's guilty or not.

But all I know is that my child could not be repeatedly molested for two years, and I wouldn't have a clue.

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 03/24/11 - 06:27 pm
0
0
I believe there is more

I believe there is more demonic influence today than ever before because people open doors to it. The Word says you can cast down any evil thought but many feed those thoughts through TV, movies and print thinking they are smarter than satan's tricks. When the Word says to guard what you see and hear it is wise advice. Temptation is not the sin but dwelling on it that leads to the sin. You cannot be tempted without knowledge and we all need to dwell on whatever is pure and whatever is good. Our hearts and minds need to be hard to the world and soft to the influence of God.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 03/25/11 - 05:35 am
0
0
If guilty, I most certainly

If guilty, I most certainly hope the courts punish him to the fullest extent of the law. If not guilty, I hope that is determined with certainty, not a loop hole or trial error that will leave doubt. In reading above, I am sickened. Yes, children are prone to lying or exaggerating events. I do not believe though that all children do so habitually to the extent that Lysander would imply. I also do not believe that most children would lie about such traumatic matters. From what I have experienced, there is usually a huge shred of truth even within a child's lie. The bottom line here though is that it is not up to us to determine the truth in this case. That is up to the investigators, court, jury etc.

As for a two way mirror, I believe a non-audible monitoring system would be appropriate for any doctor that works privately with children. I don't think a parent needs to hear every word of the conversation but a visual window could stand to protect both children & doctors from this exact thing. I find it a little surprising to hear that this doctor did have it at the time that these events allegedly took place. To speculate whether the parents knew or choose to utilize that option though it mute today. If these children were harmed by their theorpist, how will they ever be comfortable enough to trust and gain treatment from another one?

DebA
0
Points
DebA 03/25/11 - 05:44 am
0
0
I am curious to know if had

I am curious to know if had this "doctor" been in the private sector instead of the state would he have been able to get away with what he has .....(if indeed guilty) ....State hires people then lets them have no accountablility ...look at the rise of children in the care of the state that are "lost" and/or murdered in the system ......Who will save the children from the state? And before I get told that state workers are underpaid ....so is our military and both jobs require YOU to fill out the application ....no one is forced to do what they are doing ........

Austin Rhodes
2970
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/25/11 - 06:42 am
0
0
Hey Spooner...you make up a

Hey Spooner...you make up a name to accuse the DA and local police of being corrupt, and then bemoan "false accusations and witch hunts"...

The Irony Meter just made three trips around the dial before spinning off and sticking in the ceiling.

cheeringonthedawgs
108
Points
cheeringonthedawgs 03/25/11 - 07:00 am
0
0
Children lie because that is

Children lie because that is what they are taught. How can something so innocent and moldable become a liar if they are not taught to become one. A child brought up in a loving home where truth is honored doesn't know to lie to cover up things. I'm also wondering why all these children are in therapy. Seems this is the cure more now than it ever has been. Hope this isn't a sign for the future.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 03/25/11 - 07:20 am
0
0
"Selective prosecution" is
Unpublished

"Selective prosecution" is the code word here and it's employed in a consistent manner throughout the country. Here is how it works: A charge is made against an individual within the community, but the SWORN officials whose sole job is to protect the public-at-large don't act on that charge because THEY have hidden biases that affect THEIR professional judgement, resulting in the original charges being discarded and the bad guy continues his bad acts. In this case, expect legal excuses and legal mumbo jumbo to justify why officials failed to respond to previously reported incidents about this guy and his behavior. Further, that that state's licensing authority who have NOT revoked this guy's license to practice is again, an abject failure. The article state his license is still in effect. Someone should be fired for such poor attention to detail and putting young kids at risk, but don't expect that. Expect more excuses to made for this guy and his "ability to earn a living" which is a constant chant to protect non-minorities. Yep, just another example of selective prosecution, but it also demonstrates that such poor decision making comes at a high risk - especially for children.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 03/25/11 - 07:48 am
0
0
The comment section of an
Unpublished

The comment section of an article of this nature should be turned OFF. None of you have all the details. He could or COULD NOT be guilty. Just remember, these children are going to a psychologist for a reason- because they're already troubled about something so they may not be the sweet little angels some of you make them out to be. Just remember that some parents are not the sweet, loving and understanding parents they ought to be and the children mimic them. Just allow the the investigators do their job before more lives get ruined.

swinter05
5
Points
swinter05 03/25/11 - 08:33 am
0
0
I think it's poor taste to

I think it's poor taste to say that the children could be lying. EVEN IF (yeah right) this turns out to all be false, I'm quite sure it was not intentional or a well thought out scheme to destroy this man. Use common sense

swinter05
5
Points
swinter05 03/25/11 - 08:34 am
0
0
Did i say something before?

Did i say something before? Not understanding why comment got removed....

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