Chicago Daily Herald
Counselor accused of sex abuse
By Bob Susnjara

A Long Grove psychiatrist who once headed a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, writes books and calls himself a biblical counselor is accused of molesting two boys.

Gary L. Almy, 61, faces aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges for attacks at his home-based Truth in Action Academy on Old McHenry Road in Long Grove, authorities said. He\’s been in the Lake County jail on $600,000 bond since Tuesday.

Lake County prosecutors and sheriff\’s police said the unlicensed Truth in Action provided residential treatment and education to teenagers from across the country. Assistant State\’s Attorney Matthew Chancey said Almy admitted fondling the boys in separate incidents since 2000.

Almy also worked as director of counseling and clinical services at Lydia Home Association, 4300 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago. Lydia is a Christian child-welfare agency that began in 1916.

Lydia\’s executive director, David Anderson, said in a statement Almy\’s been suspended pending an internal investigation.

Chancey said authorities were tipped to Almy by suspicious Truth in Action Academy employees. Officials said Wednesday they are trying to learn if there are more than two victims.

\”We are certainly not closing this investigation by any stretch of the imagination,\” said Lake County sheriff\’s office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Thompson.

As part of the three-month probe, investigators interviewed a teenage victim attacked in the summer of 2003, Chancey said. Another teen molested in the fall of 2000 also was interviewed, leading to the charges against Almy, he said.

Chancey said Almy provided a videotaped statement admitting the sex attacks to the Lake County Children\’s Advocacy Center. Almy is to appear in bond court today.

Almy couldn\’t be charged in two other abuse allegations because the statute of limitations expired, Chancey said.

In 1991, Almy was involved in controversy as chief of staff at the VA Medical Center in North Chicago. He was demoted after a federal investigation showed poor care might have caused patient deaths.

Among the books Almy authored is \”How Christian is Christian Counseling? The Dangerous Secular Influences That Keep Us From Caring for Our Souls.\”

Biographies list biblical counseling as one of Almy\’s specialties. It\’s described as having a goal of spiritual maturity and fruitfulness, according to the International Association of Biblical Counselors.

Ed Bulkley, a Denver-area senior pastor and International Association of Biblical Counselors president, declined to discuss Almy.

Anderson said Lydia was aware of the investigation into Almy before the charges were filed. He said the agency was \”deeply saddened\” to learn of the accusations against Almy.

\”The board of directors and administration of Lydia have and will fully cooperate in every effort to assist authorities,\” Anderson said in his statement. \”Our hearts go out to the alleged victims and their families.\”