The Boston Globe
Center suspends director;
Psychiatrist admits sexual relationship with private patient
By Dolores Kong
June 2, 1989
The director of the state-run West-Ros-Park Mental Health Center has been suspended without pay after admitting he had an 11-year sexual relationship with a patient he was treating in his private psychiatry practice.
Dr. Harold L. Goldberg, 53, of Needham, was suspended last week by the Department of Mental Health, which plans to review his performance during his 27 years with the state in light of the admission, a spokeswoman said.
The agency acted after it learned that the Board of Registration in Medicine, responsible for policing physicians in the state, charged in February that Goldberg had engaged in sexual relations with a woman, identified only as “Patient A,” during therapy sessions between 1976 and 1987. He had been treating the patient since April 1971.
In his formal response to the board, Goldberg admitted he had had sexual relations with the patient and acknowledged that he had agreed to return some of the fees she paid him if she signed a document releasing him from liability and prohibiting her from discussing their relationship.
“He’s suspended without pay because of his admitting the involvement, the sexual encounter,” said Mary McGeown, Department of Mental Health spokeswoman.
According to the Board of Registration, the patient alleged that, following the sexual relationship, she “became increasingly agitated and depressed and began drinking” between November 1986 and March 1987, twice attempted suicide and was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.
Spokeswoman Patrice Atchison said the registration board will schedule a full hearing in the case.
The patient has also filed a malpractice suit in Norfolk Superior Court alleging sexual misconduct by Goldberg, according to court records.
Goldberg was out of town yesterday and could not be reached for comment, but his attorney, Edward Barshak of Boston, said that while his client admitted some of the allegations, there are more facts that have not yet been made public. He refused to go into details about them.
“I’m working toward and hoping to get a just result when all the evidence is in,” Barshak said.
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