Mental health counselor allowed to continuing practicing despite charges of sexual assault of stepdaughter

November 19, 2011

SAN ANTONIO -- Larry Dell Etter is a licensed professional counselor indicted on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Etter met Jessie's family when he served as a counselor to her father. He eventually married Jessie's mother.

Etter's alleged victim, who is now 18, said for years she suffered in silence.

"My step-dad had been sexually abusing me," Jessie says.

Jessie is a National Hispanic Scholar, attending a private school with plans to go to college and become an English teacher. She says for 8 years she kept the secret of her abuse.

"Don't be afraid to talk about it. If I could go back, I would have spoken up sooner," she says.

The 60-year-old Etters is still allowed to practice. But if he is convicted he will lose his license.

The alleged victim's family members are concerned professional counselors can still practice even after being arrested and indicted.

Since the alleged victim was not a client the Texas Board of Examiners and Professional Counselors has no authority to investigate the incident. They are waiting for the outcome of the  trial to take action.

Etter is also under review for failing to report his arrest to the state board that oversees counselors.

He is expected in court January 19.

Source: James Muñoz, "Counselor charged with sex assault of child still allowed to practice," KENS Channel 5 (San Antonio, TX), November 18, 2011.


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