Psychologist Robert McIntyre had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, fondled two others, all patients, according to trial testimony

April 28, 2010

Psychologist Robert McIntyre had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl he was counseling and fondled two younger girls who were his patients over several years, according to court testimony by the three alleged victims.

After a preliminary hearing Thursday in Berrien County Trial Court, the 58-year-old McIntyre was bound over for trial on multiple charges stemming from alleged sexual contact with the three girls.

Judge Sterling Schrock heard testimony from the alleged victims, two who are 17 and a 9-year-old, and found probable cause to believe that McIntyre committed the offenses.

The teenagers were minors when the sexual contact occurred in McIntyre's office at Bridgman Psychological Services, 7889 Red Arrow Highway, Stevensville, according to testimony.

McIntyre, of Stevensville, is free on bond pending a trial tentatively scheduled for Aug. 24.

He was arrested on charges in one case on March 9 following an investigation by Berrien County sheriff's detectives. Charges were then filed in the two other cases after alleged victims contacted police.

The prosecutor's office alleges that McIntyre used his position as a mental health professional to have inappropriate sexual conduct with patients.

The girl with whom McIntyre allegedly had a sexual relationship testified that she started receiving counseling services from him while she was 16 in January 2009.

Now 17, the girl said the relationship changed after a few weeks.

"When I first started seeing him it was professional, but then it was more like friends," she told the court.

After a time, the girl testified, the relationship got intimate with kissing, then became sexual.

Questioned by Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Travis, the girl said she saw McIntyre at his office about once a week, her mother dropping her off believing the sessions were for counseling.

The girl said she had sex with McIntyre three or four times while she was 16 and three or four times after she turned 17, usually on the couch in his office.

She said that on one occasion McIntyre provided alcohol for her and a girlfriend.

The girl testified that she liked her relationship with McIntyre, but after she came home drunk her mother forced her to stop.

"I thought he cared about me," she said. "I felt like we had a nice relationship, but he was married."

In that case, McIntyre is charged with three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Fourth-degree CSC carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison upon conviction.

State law forbids a mental health professional from having sexual contact with a client or patient during or within two years of treating the person.

Another alleged victim, now 17, testified that McIntyre put his hands under her clothes and fondled her breasts after a counseling session in his office.

Source: Scott Aiken, "Three girls testify against psychologist, Herald-Palladium, April 23, 2010.


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