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Psychologist gets year in jail for sex with patient

Oct. 13, 2011

An Oak Creek psychologist convicted of starting a sexual relationship with a longtime patient in 2005 was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail.

Jeffrey Adamczak, 48, faced up to 7 1/2 years for sexual exploitation by a therapist.

But Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Manian said the state wasn't seeking prison, just accountability.

"This case has always been about protecting patients," Manian told Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet.

Adamczak made a public apology to his wife for the affair and the public spectacle. He said it never should have happened and he'd never forgive himself.

"I'm truly paying the price for infidelity," he said.

Dallet corrected Adamczak, saying she wasn't sentencing him for having an affair, but for abusing the trust patients put in their psychotherapists.

"You took advantage of that relationship, used it and turned it around into a sexual relationship," she said. "That's the serious part."

Dallet also ordered Adamczak to provide a DNA sample and pay other court costs. The court allowed him to report to jail Oct. 24, with release privileges to work and continue his own treatment with a psychiatrist.

While his attorney, Gerald Boyle, said Adamczak has lost his practice and profession, he does remain a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin. Boyle did not say what kind of job Adamczak has now.

Colleagues and family members described Adamczak as a caring professional who helped more than 10,000 patients over a 22-year career, literally saving the lives of some, and as a generous, devoted father and husband - save for his one error in judgment. His wife said she has forgiven him, and that they are rebuilding their relationship.

But former patient Sabrina Eder told Dallet she still sleeps with a gun on her bed stand, finds it harder to be an empathetic professional herself and has gone from being extremely social to preferring seclusion.

"I'm tired of crying from the humiliation I feel," she said.

Adamczak was charged in August 2010. Eder, with whom he carried on a yearlong affair before she broke it off in 2006, reported him to authorities in March 2010 after she became convinced that he was again having sexual contact with other patients.

Boyle argued at trial last month that jealousy drove Eder to destroy Adamczak, and he said his client's testimony and office records showed the affair didn't start until after Adamczak had closed the woman's file, ending the patient/therapist relationship.

On Thursday, he told Dallet that Eder, 40, is suing Adamczak for damages in civil court. He also expressed amazement that Manian would suggest Adamczak was guilty of perjury for his testimony at trial.

Dallet didn't buy that. She told Adamczak, "I get why the jury didn't believe it. It wasn't believable," recounting how two emails between him and Eder directly contradicted testimony he gave about the timing of their relationship.

Eder said she had initially gone to Adamczak about postpartum depression and had been in near-weekly counseling with him for about three years when he initiated sexual contact with her at a session in February 2005, after she told him she had filed for divorce from her husband.

Adamczak and his wife, who acted as billing manager, opened Psychological and Counseling Services in 1992. He testified at trial he was trying to get a license to practice in Nevada; his Wisconsin license is current through September 2013.

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