Addiction Recovery Clinic Employs Convicted Felon Psychiatrist Joel W. Hanson as Medical Director

March 20, 2019

In June 2000, Utah psychiatrist Joel W. Hanson pleaded guilty to a felony and was sentenced to serve 30 days in prison.

Hanson, who was then the director of the non-profit Davis Mental Health in Layton, Utah, had pretended to be a professional photographer working for a modeling agency. In July 1999, he invited two 21-year-old girls to a “photo shoot” and had them undress in his trailer, which he had rigged with a video camera hidden behind a two-way mirror. One of the girls detected the camera and pulled out the tape. They confronted Hanson, who threatened to distribute nude photos of them if they went to the police.

That didn’t deter them; they went to the police.

Hanson was charged July 28, 1999 with two counts of felony witness tampering and one misdemeanor count of privacy violation.

Hanson is now the medical director of Ascendant Behavioral Health Comprehensive Treatment Center in Taylorsville, Utah.

In a March 19th interview with ABC 4 News, Hanson stated that he was "fine talking about my previous addictive issues," but when asked by the reporter if it was sex addiction, he replied, "I don't really want to get into the details."

However, some of the details are in public documents: in its November 2, 1999 Order, the Utah Division of Occupation and Professional Licensing revoked Hanson’s medical license but stayed the revocation on condition that he complied with several conditions imposed by the Division, including obtaining a psychiatric evaluation. The Order noted that Hanson agreed that from the early 1980s to that time, he “has engaged in voyeuristic conduct.”

Conditions of his 2000 sentence included participating in an intensive community sex offender program and attending Sex Addicts Anonymous.

Source: “Psychiatrist at new substance clinic has addiction and recovery in his own past,” ABC 4 News , March 19, 2019, URL: and Stipulation and Order in the Matter of the Licenses of Joel Wallace Hanson, Case No. DOPL 99-183, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing of the Department of Commerce of the State of Utah, November 2, 1999.


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