Hearing for therapist scheduled for March 18

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The case of a mental health counselor charged in an alleged sexual relationship with a client remains in Moffat County Court with the next hearing scheduled in one month.

Judge Mary Lynne James this morning set a status review by telephone conference at 9 a.m. March 18 for a 40-year-old counselor charged with sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist, a class-four felony.

Cheryl Hardy-Moore, the counselor's attorney, asked for more time to review information on the case held by the District Attorney's

office.

James next month could keep the man's case in county court for possible entry of a plea, or move it to Judge Michael O'Hara's docket for arraignment in district court.

The man, now residing in Leadville, remains free after posting $10,000 bond shortly after

his Feb. 6 arrest.

He was assigned last August by the Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center to work with a female inmate at the Moffat County Jail -- a woman with an open case with local mental health staff between Jan. 11, 2002, and Jan. 2, 2003, according to court documents.

The counselor worked with the woman during 24 separate sessions in that timeframe, during which she claims the two had a

sexual relationship.

Police allege the man is heard discussing details about the relationship in a tape-recorded conversation.

A conviction on the class-four felony charge carries a possible one to 16 years in state prison and fines up to $500,000.

It is the policy of the Craig Daily Press to not identify suspects in sex-related cases unless and until a conviction occurs.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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