Custody evaluator psychologist Brian Wald suspended for kissing client, etc.
June 5, 2012
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A clinical psychologist was suspended indefinitely and charged with inappropriate behavior with a client after a woman claimed he kissed her.
Local courts relied on Dr. Brian Wald to give advice on parental custody in divorce cases. In documents obtained by WAVY.com the Board of Psychology says Wald is a danger to public health and safety.
His website states he has conducted over 300 parenting capacity evaluations and now he's suspended indefinitely and the likely target of a civil lawsuit.
Wald's license was indefinitely suspended for at least 18 months for inappropriate relations with a client in his office at One Columbus Center at Town Center.
Board of Psychology suspended Wald after it concluded, "Dr. Wald caressed her hands and arms in a romantic manner, and hugged and kissed her on the cheek. By his own admission, on at least one occasion, Dr. Wald kissed Individual A on the mouth."
WAVY.com found Wald at his home. He was behind the backyard fence, and would not come out to speak with us. He yelled across the fence he wasn't coming out, and we needed to call his attorney.
"Dr. Wald make a mistake," Kevin Martingayle, Wald's attorney told WAVY.com "He made a professional mistake. He apologized for it profusely when he was before the board. It was an isolated error."
The woman in the documents in known only as "Individual A." She was obviously concerned about the relations with Dr. Wald because she videotaped the kiss on the lips with a hidden camera. Martingayle would not show WAVY.com the video in order to protect her identity.
"She never said at any point I wish you would stop," says Martingayle. The board did not buy that reasoning, finding Dr. Wald used his position of power to take advantage of a vulnerable victim who wanted a favorable assessment for custody.
In arguing his case before the Board, Martingayle said Wald got a harsher sentence than others who did worse, "He did everything he could to own up to the mistake he made, and his reward is an unprecedented punishment."
Dr. Wald is appealing the Board of Psychology's decision. He also wants a judge to reduce the 18 month suspension.
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