Social worker charged with rape after telling victim sexual conduct was necessary for mental health treatment

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A licensed social worker with the Centers for Families and Children has been indicted on felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a client and telling her it was necessary for mental health treatment.

Gamalier Felicie, 44, has been charged with rape, sexual battery, attempted rape and attempted sexual battery.

The indictment said that on Jan. 25, 2019, Felicie told the 37-year-old victim “sexual conduct was necessary for mental health treatment purposes.”

According to a statement from facility administrators, Felicie was immediately placed on leave when the allegations surfaced. Administrators reported it to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Cuyahoga County’s Addiction, Mental Health (ADAMHS) Board. The allegations were also reported to Cleveland police and other state officials.

A check of online records showed Felicie had no history of discipline with the Ohio Counselor Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.

Felicie is free on bond and scheduled to appear in court April 10.

Elizabeth Newman, the President and CEO of Circle Health Services and The Centers for Families and Children, released the following statement:

The safety and well-being of our clients is always our highest priority. These allegations, if true, would be an egregious violation of our policies and standards of professional conduct, and grounds for termination. In order to protect our clients, Mr. Felicie remains on leave and has no interaction with clients, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

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