Heath Sommer, Psychologist at Travis AFB, Charged with Sexual Assaults of Veterans

May 15, 2018


Heath Sommer, a psychologist on Travis Air Force Base, in California, was supposed to help Air Force veterans who suffered sexual assaults while deployed overseas. Instead, he has been charged with sexual battery and three counts of sexual assault (all felonies), claiming the sexual contact served a professional purpose. Sommer is reported to have committed the assaults from 2010 to 2016, according to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors against 41-year-old psychologist earlier this month

It is reported that Sommer used “exposure therapy”—a psychological “technique” in which the patient is made to confront a feared object, activity or traumatic situation (typical psychological mumbo-jumbo.) Sommer is charged with leaving patients "even more traumatized," from exposure therapy .

But Solano County prosecutors said he misused the treatment to exploit abused veterans.

The complaint acknowledges that "As their therapist, the defendant was in a position of power."

Sommer pleaded not guilty nearly two weeks ago to rape, sexual battery and oral copulation charges, according to local reports. He remains in custody at the Stanton Correctional Facility since his May 3 arrest on $750,000 bail.

Source: Sullivan, Jess, “Psychologist with ties to Travis base enters plea,” Daily Republic, May 4, 2018 and Cullen, Terence, “Psychologist charged with sexually abusing Air Force veterans at California base,” New York Daily News, May 15, 2018.


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