Therapist Seduced Mentally "Compromised" Man, Lawsuit Claims

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A bizarre lawsuit by a mentally "compromised" East Bay man alleges that, while in an outpatient mental program he attended in lieu of serving out a prison term for petty theft, therapist Maria Santos Arriola had sex with him on multiple occasions.

His suit, filed yesterday in Oakland, names Santos and the Alameda County Medical Center. While the litigant is keeping his identity mum, his mother, Alita Anna Rodriguez, is listed as a co-plaintiff.

At first, the suit notes, the litigant, "John," had high hopes for the program at the Fairmont Hospital in San Leandro, and for his therapist. "He came home and told his mother Alita that his therapist was a 'really nice lady' and said she was going to 'make things easy' for John." The suit alleges she did so in a most unconventional manner.

The plaintiffs allege  that Arriola -- who is around the age of the 33-year-old litigant's mother -- began to single out John for special treatment such as loaning him her "expensive car" on lunch breaks. He claims she told him to go home and get his dog so she could "meet his puppy." This, the suit claims, led to sex. Lots of it.

"Santos repeatedly told John she wanted to make things 'easy' for him," continues the suit. "During the time that Santos was John's therapist, she had John give her sex during Program hours on multiple occasions including at the Gym of the Fairmont facility, and on the grounds of the Fairmont hospital."

John was told to keep quiet about the sex, the suit claims, as Santos said she could lose her job and even custody of her children. "When she came over to his house," the document notes, "She started to wear disguises, wigs, sunglasses, and unusual outfits."

The suit claims that Santos began "badgering" John to leave the program -- which he did not wish to do, as the outpatient program was an alternative to lockup in Santa Rita Jail. He claims she threatened to have his probation officer yank him from the program, and demanded he return a photo of the two of them taken at Halloween in which "Santos and John are partially disrobed, dressed only in bath-towels."

The suit notes that the Alameda County Sheriff's department declined to prosecute Santos after Rodriguez filed a report in December of last year, instead referring the case to the Board of Behavioral Sciences. While the suit does not list the outcome of that referral, the existence of the suit indicates it was not to the plaintiffs' liking.

The document lists nine complaints including professional negligence; neglect of dependent adult; sexual contact by therapist; and sexual harassment.

H/T: Courthouse News

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