Child Psychiatrist Fired For Sex Abuse

November 18, 2011 by staff 

Child Psychiatrist Fired For Sex Abuse, A child psychiatrist at a state hospital for the mentally ill in Texas was fired after an investigation of sexual abuse allegations against him, state officials said on Thursday.

Law enforcement officials had also been notified of the allegations against Dr. Charles Fischer of Austin State Hospital, said Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

“We have received several reports alleging abuse by Dr. Charles Fischer dating back several years,” Crimmins said.

“Each case was investigated thoroughly, but none were confirmed until October, when two separate allegations of sexual abuse against Dr. Fischer were confirmed.”

Fischer, a hospital employee since 1990, could not be reached for comment on Thursday. He had been placed on leave last month and his firing was effective on Monday, said Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, which runs the state hospitals.

Williams said she could not provide details about the investigation at the hospital, which treats adults and children.

“We are all heartbroken over these allegations,” Williams said in an e-mail. “We’re investigating the situation and considering our next actions. These kids come to us to heal, and the situation is very sad and extremely troubling for everyone involved.”

Disability Rights Texas, a federally funded nonprofit organization, was also investigating the hospital, supervising attorney Beth Mitchell said. She said her organization would examine whether people felt comfortable reporting allegations and whether investigations were being done properly.

“The bigger issue is just to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future,” she said.

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