Patient Files Lawsuit Against Massachusetts Psychiatrist Paul Glass III, Alleging Sexual Grooming, Manipulation, and Abuse

November 23, 2022

A patient of a former Lenox-based psychiatrist, Paul Glass III, filed a million-dollar civil suit in Berkshire Superior Court this week alleging Glass groomed, manipulated and abused her for nearly three years while she was a patient under his care.

The suit, filed Monday, comes two and half weeks after Glass, 50, suddenly shut down his Church Street office with a short voicemail to patients stating that he “cannot provide medical care or prescribe medication” and directing them to seek care elsewhere.

When a local psychiatrist's office in Lenox closed suddenly late last month, patients were left with more questions than answers. A single document from the state's Board of Registration in Medicine so far offers the only clue.

Several days later the state’s Board of Registration in Medicine agreed to accept a voluntary agreement not to practice medicine from Glass.

Glass did not respond to multiple attempts by The Berkshire Eagle to contact him via email or phone. As of 5 p.m. Friday, no attorney had appeared in court on his behalf for this case.

Glass’ alleged relationship with a 50-year-old woman, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, kicked off the series of events that led to the practice’s closure late last month. Doe wrote in an affidavit dated Nov. 7 that “as a result of the grooming negligence and abuse” the anxiety and depression that caused her to seek out Dr. Glass’ care worsened.

“I experienced hours-long crying spells on an almost daily basis,” Doe wrote. “I barely leave the house now and have very little faith that I will ever get better mentally or emotionally.”

Her suit seeks $1 million in damages for pain and suffering her attorney says she experienced “as a result of [a] sexual relationship with [her] psychiatrist during her course of counseling” and $25,000 for medical expenses to date.

Doe’s affidavit says that she began seeing Glass after her primary care doctor referred her to the psychiatrist. In 2018, Doe says that she “suffered from depression and anxiety,” was in “an abusive relationship” and struggling with her relationship with several family members.

Glass began treating Doe with therapy and medication. Eventually Doe claims that Glass sent her “flirtatious text messages” and increased her therapy appointments to three times a week — often in appointment slots that occurred after his staff had left for the day.

Doe claims that during one of these sessions Glass talked to her about transference — a phenomenon in therapy in which a patient redirects their feelings for someone else on to their therapist — and countertransference — when a therapist directs their own emotions on to the patient.

Doe wrote that during this session Glass told her “you must understand the effect that you have on men — even me.”

In the fall of 2019, Doe claims she and Glass began a sexual relationship that took place in both her home and his office.

“The text messages and sexual interactions made me feel special,” Doe wrote to the court. “I became emotionally dependent on Dr. Glass as a way to escape the toxic relationship with my boyfriend.”

Speaking with The Eagle on Friday, Doe said that she came to feel trapped in Glass’ care.

“I was struggling with mental health issues that had gotten worse because of my time with him because my mental health issues were not being addressed,” Doe said. “He was taking what I was saying and kind of using it against me.”

She described their doctor-patient relationship as “a huge betrayal of my trust,” saying she didn’t feel like she could end things with Glass because he was responsible for prescribing medications for her mental health conditions.

In September, Doe scheduled an appointment with her primary care doctor and told the doctor about her relationship with Glass. The doctor told Doe that they would be taking over her medication needs and that she shouldn’t see Glass again.

The American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics specifically prohibits romantic or sexual relationships between doctors of any specialty and their patients.

The AMA writes “such interactions detract from the goals of the patient-physician relationship and may exploit the vulnerability of the patient, compromise the physician’s ability to make objective judgments about the patient’s health care and ultimately be detrimental to the patient’s well-being.”

Doe was eventually connected with a new therapist. Her new counselor and doctor asked if they could file a complaint on Doe’s behalf with the state’s medical board. She said yes.

When an investigator from the state medical board reached out to Doe, she shared text messages she and Glass had exchanged and told them he had made comments about using controlled substances.

After investigating the complaint and talking with Doe, the board presented Glass with a voluntary agreement not to practice medicine in late October.

The form agreement includes language that says Glass does “not waive my right to contest any allegations brought against me by the board” and that “nothing contained in this agreement shall be construed as an admission or acknowledgement by me as to wrongdoing of any kind in the practice of medicine or otherwise.”

Doe said when she spoke with investigators they told her that if Glass at any point gave up his medical license and agreed not to practice then the board’s investigation would stop.

Doe’s attorney, Laura Mangini, said that while her client is happy that Glass is no longer practicing medicine she felt she needed to file a public lawsuit against Glass so that other patients would know what he’s been accused of.

“If 10 years from now he moves to another state and can somehow get another license in another state — there’s no warning system for a patient in that state to be able to look him up,” Mangini said. “It’s important to us to make sure that … he’s not able to sweep it under the rug because he voluntarily gave up his license and so nothing really happens to him.”

Mangini said she’s filed a notice that Doe intends to file a medical malpractice suit against Glass. The attorney said those claims likely won’t be handled until April.

Source: Meg Britton-Mehlisch, “A Lenox psychiatrist closed his practice suddenly last month. A patient says she knows why,” The Berkshire Eagle, Nov. 18, 2022, URL: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/central_berkshires/a-lenox-psychiatrist-closed-his-practice-suddenly-last-month-a-patient-says-she-knows-why/article_874bf67e-678e-11ed-b948-97d4916f645d.html  

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