Sunday, October 16, 2005

Former USF Psychiatrist Targeted by 2nd Patient

Tampa Tribune
Former USF Psychiatrist Target Of 2nd Patient Lawsuit
By LENNY SAVINO
Oct 16, 2005 

TAMPA - -- A second patient of former University of South Florida's chief psychiatrist Anthony Reading is suing him, maintaining he sexually abused her during treatment.

Gail Blanco, 35, who saw Reading for depression and anxiety from September 2002 to December 2003, added USF to the lawsuit, saying the school "knew or should have known" he was unfit to counsel her.

That's because by April 2003, another patient, Tina Logan, had reported to police and the Department of Health that Reading had sexually abused her. After Logan complained, the university "took no steps to suspend or prevent Dr. Reading from continuing to see patients, such as" Blanco, the lawsuit says.
 
In her suit, Logan claims Reading, 71, abused her during two sessions. Reading failed a police polygraph on the allegations, but prosecutors dropped the case, saying the evidence could not be used against him in court and there were no witnesses.

On Friday, Blanco's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, declined to comment on Blanco's lawsuit. Reading has told The Tampa Tribune that the allegations against him are not true.

Reading chaired USF's psychiatry department for 25 years and served as director of the school's outpatient clinic for much of that time.
Blanco also has pressed criminal charges against Reading, asserting he inappropriately hugged her and felt her breasts. By her third session, Blanco told authorities, Reading made her feel uncomfortable by staring at her breasts. At the close of the fourth session, she alleged, Reading rolled his chair toward Blanco, leaned in, looked down at her chest and said: "Oh, I like that."

Two other former patients of Reading have made similar complaints to the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office, which is investigating.
In September, the Department of Health issued an emergency order restricting Reading from treating female patients. Reading left USF at the end of 2003 and has been working part time at the Bay Behavioral Health Center in Panama City.

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