Michigan psychologist Michael Varney To Be Arraigned on Patient Sex-for-Drugs Charges

October 31, 2018

A 61-year-old Caspian psychologist accused of trading patients opioids, Valium and marijuana for sexual favors will be arraigned Nov. 6 in Dickinson County Circuit Court.

Michael Wallace Varney faces 50 felony charges in Dickinson, Iron and Marquette counties based on a complaint he engaged in sexual misconduct over the past nine years with 10 patients, many of whom sought Varney’s professional help for substance abuse treatment, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette stated in a news release Sept. 21.

In Dickinson County, Varney faces four counts of criminal sexual conduct-first degree, 11 counts of delivery of a schedule 2 controlled substance and eight counts of delivery of marijuana.

District Court Judge Julie LaCost on Thursday found enough evidence during a preliminary exam to transfer Varney’s case to circuit court, where felony prosecutions are handled. His arraignment there will be 9 a.m. Nov. 6 before Judge Mary Barglind.

Varney obtained his psychologist license in 2009, and owned and worked at Superior Psychological, which has offices in Caspian, Kingsford and Marquette, according to the complaint suspending his license July 6. As a limited license psychologist, he is not legally able to prescribe medication to his patients, Schuette stated.

Varney’s inappropriate behavior with patients included sending sexually suggestive and inappropriate messages, requesting sexually suggestive photos, providing prescription pills in exchange for sexual contact and divulging confidential information about other patients, a news release on the license suspension stated.

In Iron County, Varney faces 10 counts of delivery of a schedule 2 controlled substance, eight counts of delivery of a schedule 4 controlled substance and a single count each of delivery of methamphetamine and delivery of marijuana.

In Marquette County District Court, Varney has been charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct-first degree and four counts of delivery of a schedule 2 controlled substance. He had a preliminary exam in that court Oct. 11.

Marquette County Judge Roger Kangas in September set Varney’s bond at $250,000 per count, for a total of $1.75 million, according to the news release.

Source: “Caspian psychologist bound over for Dickinson arraignment,” Iron Mountain Daily News, October 30, 2018, URL: http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/news/local-news/2018/10/caspian-psychologist-bound-over-for-dickinson-arraignment/


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