Children’s Hospital Psychotherapist Sexually Assaulted Former Patient: Prosecutors

A psychotherapist is charged with abusing a former patient. Herschel “Mickey” Harden, 72, was indicted Wednesday for two accounts of object sexual penetration by force, according to the Office of the Virginia Attorney General.

Authorities said Harden was formally charged by the King William multi-jurisdictional grand jury. Allegations stem from Harden allegedly abusing a former patient in 2018 and 2019 while working at the Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents in New Kent County. Prosecutors said he was arrested by Virginia State Police, and is scheduled for an arraignment to take place Monday. It’s unclear if he has an attorney in this matter.

Authorities said this is part of an ongoing investigation. They’re asking the public for more information:

If anyone has additional information about these or other allegations at Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents they may contact the Virginia State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations at (804) 537-6788.

A hospital administration staffer didn’t immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

The hospital has been at the center of some claims in recent months. The facility was allegedly out of compliance with human rights regulations, and that the state was improperly not being notified about certain issues, according to WTVR. That included this story from last summer.

“On July 28, there were two minor girls in a bedroom for 4 hours and both girls had a history of sexual trauma, sexual abuse, sexually acting out, and we do 15-minute checks at minimum,” said former hospital coordinator Kimberly Bass, who claimed she got fired for speaking out about the way children were treated there.

“I got fired for what?” she said. “Because, I won’t sit back and allow kids to get abused, neglected, or exploited and do nothing about it?”

[Mugshot via Office of the Virginia State Attorney]

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