State suspends psychologist Steven Allan Korn on charge of sexual relationship with patient

December 15, 2010

On September 22, 2010, an Administrative Law Judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings, Medical Quality Hearing Panel, State of California, signed a Decision on Petition for Interim Order of Suspension on psychologist Steven Allan Korn. 

According to the document, Korn engaged in sexual relations with, and sexual exploitation of a 26-year-old female patient who’d come to Korn in June 2008 for treatment of anxiety and depression.  After approximately three sessions, Korn allegedly told the patient he was physically attracted to her.  She declined to be referred to another psychologist and Korn “promised that he would behave” but at the next therapy session, as the patient was standing up to leave, Korn “hugged her, kissed her and ran his hands all over her body.  He then had sexual intercourse with her.” 

Korn initiated sexual intercourse at the following therapy session as well. 

The document contains transcriptions of several e-mail exchanges of an intimate nature, in which their relationship is mentioned.  It also contains transcripts of telephone calls the patient placed to Korn which were recorded by a Medical Board investigator, in which the patient brings up their sexual relationship—which Korn does not deny, though he attempts to try to get the patient to recant her complaint against him to the Board. 

Lastly, the document indicates that a criminal case is pending against Korn in this matter (as sexual exploitation of a patient by a psychotherapist is a crime in California). 

The Board notes that though suspension of his license would create a financial hardship for Korn’s family, “there are no circumstances under which a psychologist who has engaged in sexual relations with a patient can be considered safe to continue in practice.”

Source: Decision on Petition for Interim Order of Suspension, Robert I. Kahane, Executive Officer, Board of Psychology vs. Steven Allan Korn, Ph.D., License No. PSY 8836, Case No. 1F 2009 202019, OAH No. 2010080799, Medical Quality Hearing Panel, Office of Administrative Hearings, State of California. 


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