A former psychologist at Travis Air Force Base was found guilty of six felony sexual assault charges on Friday, after luring victims into having sex with him as part of their treatment for post-traumatic stress issues.
Heath J. Sommer is facing eleven years and eight months in prison. Thanks to the successful prosecution work of Deputy District Attorney Brian Roberts.
The jury’s verdict came after six days of deliberation, putting an end to a six-week trial.
According to the Daily Republic, Sommer abused the concept of exposure therapy from 2014 to 2015 and had them perform sex acts from past rape incidents- the very same sexual assaults that caused PTSD in the first place.
One woman -a colonel who was sexually assaulted by three British soldiers- claimed that Sommer was going to start conducting exposure sections at his private home, telling her he wanted to treat her by having her re-experience the brutal rape, which took place in Afghanistan.
The “brutal” treatment involved the colonel eating dirt (to simulate the taste of partially cooked goat she remembered being served at the Afghan base before her assault) and eventually began having sex with Sommer as part of treatment, all while Sommer’s wife was in the other room.
For several months, she began having sex with Sommer, with the final time being with both Sommer and his wife.
A second patient said that “therapy” included oral copulation, which was interrupted, but later resumed.
Sommer’s attorney, Thomas Maas, told Judge E. Bradley Nelson he intended to file a motion for a new trial before Sommer’s January sentence date.
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