A 53-year-old social worker at a mental health center in Illinois is accused of having an improper sexual relationship with a patient who said the women forced him to be her “sex slave,” PEOPLE confirms.
On Thursday, following an investigation, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon charged Christy L. Lenhardt of South Elgin with eight counts of sexual misconduct with a person with disabilities and six counts of official misconduct — both of which are felonies.
Prosecutors allege in charging documents that on “multiple occasions” between November 2014 and July 2017, Lenhardt, a social worker for the Illinois Department of Human Services at Elgin Mental Health Center, engaged in sexual conduct with a patient, the State’s Attorney said in a statement.
“Lenhardt knew the sexual conduct was forbidden by law,” said prosecutors in the statement.
On Wednesday, Lenhardt was arrested, though she has since bonded out of jail, according to online records. She will appear in court on April 20.
Lenhardt’s arrest comes after two former patients filed federal lawsuits against her and the facility, each seeking $10 million and alleging that she had improper sexual relations with them, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In November, Benahdam Hurt, 24, filed a civil rights complaint in U.S. District Court alleging that Lenhardt forced him to be her “sex slave” between November 2014 and July 2017, the Tribune reports. (Hurt is the alleged victim in the state’s case against Lenhardt, the paper reports.)
Hurt announced the suit at a press conference and has agreed to be named publicly, CBS Chicago reports.
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Another patient, a 27-year-old man, filed a second lawsuit in January, alleging that when he rebuffed Lenhardt’s sexual advances, she threatened to try to change his diagnosis and his medication.
Lenhardt resigned on Aug. 23 and is no longer an employee with the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Tribune reports. State records show that she earned nearly $90,000 a year, state records show, the Tribune reports.
If convicted, Lenhardt faces a sentence of probation or between two and five years in prison, according to the State’s Attorney’s statement.
PEOPLE’s calls to Lenhardt, her attorney and the prosecutor were not immediately returned.