State Revokes License of Psychologist Herman "Ted" Thompson for Sexual Exploitation of Teen Patient

January 3, 2019

On December 18, 2018, the Minnesota Board of Psychology revoked the license of psychologist Herman Thompson for having exploited a patient for his own sexual benefit.

The Board's document states that the incidents of sexual contact occurred between 2003 and 2005, when the patient was 16 and 17 years old. 

The patient, identified only as J.W., was born in Indiana where he was raised by a crack-addicted mother until he was eight or nine years old. At that time, his father removed J.W. and his younger sister from their mother's custody and took them back to Minnesota. However, J.W.'s father was "drunk a lot" and violent with him and his sister. J.W. was removed from his father's home after J.W. reported that his father had hit him in the face and the eye.

J.W. was in several foster placements and group homes over the next few years and began to engage in behaviors which got him placed in Wyalusing Academy, a girls and boys home in Wisconsin, where he experienced further abuse, including being stripped naked and placed in a cold room and having a staff person expose himself to J.W.

A Minnesota social worker who was acquainted with J.W. took him from Wyalusing into his home and sought to adopt him. J.W. however was difficult--stealing, smoking marijuana, and behavioral problems. The social worker was not able to keep him in school or any program. During this time, he determined that due to J.W.'s history and behavior, he needed to see a therapist. He chose Ted Thompson because he was known to be good for culturally-specific treatment of African American children. 

J.W. saw Thompson for sessions beginning in August 2003. He reported that the initial sessions were nothing out of the ordinary. He talked about his life and how he felt. However, during the fifth session, on October 3, 2003, Thompson and J.W. wrestled over a ball. The wrestling activity turned sexual, with Thompson performing oral sex on the boy. 

In his treatment notes from that session, Thompson acknowledges the conflict over the ball and physical contact with J.W. but described it differently, leaving out the sexual part. 

The Board's document states that after the sexual encounter, Thompson gave the boy a small amount of cash and told him not to tell anyone what had happened because it could get him (Thompson) in trouble and could result in J.W. being sent back to Wyalusing. 

Thompson's sexual activity with J.W. during therapy sessions occurred on multiple occasions over a period of one year. After each session, he gave the boy a small amount of cash. He discontinued therapy with Thompson shortly before his eighteenth birthday. 

J.W. was homeless at that time. He called Thompson, who picked him up and took him to him home, where he cooked for him, gave him money, and performed oral sex on him. J.W. further reported that when he was 18 or 19 years old, he would drink with Thompson and the believed the drinks were drugged because he would feel more out of it than he should have and would wake up with his pants undone.

Thompson got into more disciplinary trouble between then and now. In 2014, the Board of Psychology put Thompson's license on conditional status based on finding that in or around 2008, he admitted taking a picture of one patient, a mid-teen male, while the patient flexed his muscles and lifted his shirt. The Board also found that, on January 18, 2013, Thompson gave an 11-year-old male patient a shoulder rub during which he touched the patient's chest and rubbed his shoulders, without skin contact. The Board limited his practice for two years, prohibiting him from seeing patients under the age of 16 and requiring that any 16 to 18 year-old patients be accompanied by an adult during sessions.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions, and Final Order in the Matter of Herman Thompson, M.Eq., L.P., License No. LP2769, Minnesota Board of Psychology, December 18, 2018, URL: https://mn.gov/boards/assets/Thompson_Herman_Findings%20of%20Fact%2C%20Conclusions
%2C%20and%20Final%20Order_12.18.18_tcm21-362680.pdf

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