TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Anne Kindling, the attorney representing Julie Herron, the therapist who was arrested, and accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a teen patient, on Friday told KSNT News in a statement that her client is denying the allegations.
“Ms. Herron denies the allegations – which are just that, allegations – and looks forward to the opportunity to defend herself in court and clear her name,” Kindling said in the statement.
This comes after Herron, 51, was arrested and booked into the Shawnee County Jail for unlawful sexual relations with a patient on Wednesday on a $10,000 bond.
Herron bonded out hours later, and is still out on bond as of Friday.
The allegations originally took place five years ago when Herron was employed at Topeka’s Florence Crittenton Services.
Florence Crittenton is a psychiatric treatment facility for at-risk girls and young women.
Herron at the time was a contracted employee at the facility with two state agencies, the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
The victim was 17-years-old and a resident at the facility from April to July of 2015, according to court documents obtained by KSNT News.
During that three-month span is when Herron and the victim’s relationship evolved from a normal therapist-patient relationship to an inappropriate sexual relationship, according to court documents.
“We filed charges based on the evidence that is available to us,” said Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay. “Sometimes that evidence changes throughout the case, sometimes we get new evidence and it could increase the severity of the charge or reduce the severity of the charge.”
It’s uncommon for residents at Crittenton to leave the facility during their treatment, yet Herron would take the victim off-site, which is where a lot of the sexual abuse occurred, according to allegations the victim made in public court documents.
The victim claims that on one occasion, Herron rented a hotel room and raped her.
“Herron made a misrepresentation the sexual intercourse was part of the Plaintiff’s therapy,” another accusation made in the court document said.
The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board oversees licensing for therapists in the state.
Max Foster, the executive director for the board said that they began an investigation into Herron after KSNT News made them aware of the allegations.
“We want to make sure that we interview everyone that’s involved, determine all the facts involved, and provide a thorough report and investigation so that the complaint review committee can make the proper determinations of the facts,” said Foster.
However, Foster told us that Herron can still practice because her license will remain active during the investigation, which could take up to four to six months.
This means that even if these accusations are true, Herron would still be able to continue practicing until the investigation is complete.
When we asked Foster if that concerns him that Herron will be allowed to continue seeing patients given the severity of the accusations. He told us he’s not worried about that since Herron will be contacted and made aware that the board is investigating her.
“I don’t have a very big concern in that regard because of the fact that since notification is made as soon as we get the complaint, and then what happens is the licensee is given thirty days to respond to the complaint,” Foster said.
Herron’s has a court date set for December, and the victim’s attorneys are asking for a jury trial. Kagay told us a decision on if this will actually go to a trial won’t be decided on until after a preliminary hearing.