A Pierce County counselor has been charged with unprofessional conduct for allegedly engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a patient she was counseling for domestic violence, according to the state Department of Health.
Lora Dear was working at a mental health facility in Federal Way when she took the case in October 2010. Her patient had been charged with fourth-degree assault, domestic violence-strangulation and exposing children to domestic violence.
The state said Dear already knew the patient but still acted as his counselor, recommending he undergo a 12-month program. During that time, Dear is accused of the following:
- having her vehicle repaired at an auto body shop where the patient worked and borrowing his car while hers was out of commission.
- Inviting him to her home and visiting him and his family in California.
- Posting a picture of “romantic or sexual nature” of herself and her patient on the Internet, along with a comment stating “He loves me.”
The mental health facility where Dear worked fired her in August after learning of her personal relationship with the patient.