Indiana places psychologist Mervin Smucker on indefinite probation; surrendered Wisconsin license over sex with patient

March 14, 2011

On January 26, 2011, the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana issued a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order, denying psychologist Mervin Smucker’s license renewal application.  Smucker made a timely request for a Board review of the decision to deny his renewal.  Ultimately, the Board decided to renew the license but placed it on indefinite probation.

This action is in response to actions taken upon Smucker by the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board, to whom Smucker surrendered his license on February 20, 2010.

According to that Board’s document, Smucker, who held a faculty position at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and provided services at two hospitals in addition to a private practice, engaged in a dual relationship with a patient.  Specifically, the document states that between October 2002 and May 2005, Smucker treated a woman for trauma she had experienced while a foreign exchange student in which she was abducted and raped and witnessed her boyfriend’s murder.

Smucker’s dual involvement with the patient included giving her rides home after two or three treatment sessions, being together with the patient in his home or other property he owned and (according the to the patient’s allegations), engaging in sexual contact and intercourse with her while she was his client.  The document states in particular that the patient attended a conference on child sexual abuse and incest at which Smucker was a presenter and that the two had connecting rooms while they stayed at the hotel.  The Indiana Board’s document states that the patient filed a lawsuit against Smucker in 2007 alleging a sexual relationship and seeking money damages for sexual assault. The suit was settled in July 2009, under which the former patient received money damages and other consideration.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order in the Matter of the License of Mervin Smucker, Ph.D., License No. 20041542A, Indiana State Psychology Board Cause No. 2010 PB 0003; Final Decision and Order 0000051, in the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against Mervin R. Smucker, Ph.D., State of Wisconsin Before the Psychology Examining Board.


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