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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

La Crosse — A La Crosse psychiatrist faces up to 70 years in prison after being convicted of having sexual relations with his clients, including one whom he married.

A La Crosse County jury deliberated for seven hours Friday before finding James Thiel guilty on seven counts of exploitation by a therapist.

The charges stem from allegations by a patient who visited Thiel\’s home. Thiel\’s lawyer, John Brinckman, argued the woman lied to investigators because she was angry with Thiel for refusing to help her apply for Social Security disability.

Judge Dale Pasell allowed jurors to hear evidence that Thiel had sexual contact with two other clients, including the one he married. They have since divorced.

Testifying Thursday, Thiel denied having sex with the woman whom he treated between 1994 and 1999. He also denied sexual contact with other women.

Thiel faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count when he\’s sentenced May 4.