Psychologist withdraws SJC appeal on license
Mary O’Neill acknowledged having sex with patient Eric MacLeish
A female psychologist who had sex with a former patient is withdrawing her court appeal seeking the return of her license.
Brookline psychologist Mary O’Neill acknowledged having a sexual relationship with her patient, Eric MacLeish, just weeks after his therapy sessions ended. The standard punishment in such cases is permanent license revocation, but O’Neill filed an appeal with the state Supreme Judicial Court arguing that her license should be only temporarily suspended because her lapse in judgment was caused by the collapse of her own marriage.
The case was scheduled to be heard next month, but SJC Clerk Susan Mellen said O’Neill’s attorney told her he is withdrawing the appeal. Mellen said some paperwork must be completed before the withdrawal is official, but she says she has already told the SJC justices not to bother studying the case files. The Associated Press reported that O’Neill’s attorney confirmed he was withdrawing the appeal, but gave no reason for the decision. The attorney could not be reached by CommonWealth.
Linda Jorgenson, a Massachusetts attorney who has represented hundreds of people who have claimed their therapists abused them sexually, said she couldn’t understand why O’Neill would withdraw her appeal. “Her briefs have been filed. All that is left is for the oral argument to take place in September,” she said. “I don’t see anything that she had to lose by waiting for the court to issue its ruling.”