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FL- Counselor charged with extorting sex offender

2-16-2009 Florida:

Bartow, Florida -- Deputies have arrested a mental health therapist on charges he tried to extort money from a sex offender he was counseling.

They say Dr. Paul H. Sandman, PhD., of Winter Haven, owner and operator of Adjustment & Awareness, took advantage of one of his court-ordered clients.

Investigators said a registered sexual offender attending four years of therapy was one month shy of completion when Sandman was arrested for marijuana possession and was removed from the list of acceptable providers for the Department of Corrections. Nonetheless, the offender was assured he would get his letter of completion.

Citing financial difficulties and the need to move to Tennessee, the doctor said he would provide a letter of completion, if the sex offender paid him $2,500. He later dropped the amount to $2,000, deputies said.

The offender complained to the sheriff's office. Deputies interviewed Sandman and booked him into the county jail without bond pending a court appearance Tuesday. ..News Source.. by Jim Peppard

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