Florida Hypnotherapist Accused of Having Sex with Patient
A Florida hypnotherapist was arrested Wednesday after allegedly having sex with one of his patients.
Robert Andrew Nichols from Gainesville, Florida has been “charged with being a psychotherapist engaging in sex with a client or former client,” according to a police affidavit quoted by the Gainesville Sun.
The Gainesville police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Nichols, 63, and the woman first met at Santa Fe College, where he taught an adult education class — though he was not a professor, according to a statement from the college obtained by the New York Post.
The statement added that as soon as “the college learned of Nichols’ arrest, steps were taken to ensure he was not currently teaching nor known to be on our campus.”
The woman first went to Nichols for hypnotherapy in June 2018, and during an August appointment, he “unexpectedly” kissed her on the lips, according to the police affidavit quoted by the Sun.
He also is said to have asked intimate questions about her sex life during the sessions.
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After the kiss, Nichols suggested to the woman that they go to his house to “continue the appointment,” and the two had sex, according to the Sun‘s report. After that, Nichols reportedly stopped charging for his services, the Sun‘s report says.
The police affidavit said Nichols and the woman continued engaging in “sex therapy and ritual magic” until November. After the relationship ended, the woman reportedly asked for a refund.
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Nichols allegedly told police in an interview in March that he and the woman had been dating, but he did not say whether or not the relationship was a sexual one.
The Sun reported that in Florida, it is illegal for psychotherapists to “commit sexual misconduct with a client,” and that it is also illegal to do so with a former client when the professional relationship ended “primarily for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact.”